In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023, Edraak Foundation for Development and Equality (EFDE) launched the “#SafeComm4women” campaign, which extended until the 20th of March and engaged with the CSW67 theme “Innovation and Technological Change and Education in the Digital Age for Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of All Women and Girls.”

Technology and digital spaces have empowered women in Egypt and the MENA region at several levels. In many societies where women and girls experience restrictions on their fundamental rights, internet access and opportunities brought by digital spaces have supported them in overcoming these restrictions and challenges. Many women in our communities still struggle to travel, go out to work, access educational opportunities, or participate actively in the public sphere. Internet access has enabled them to communicate, learn, work, build networks, and create “safe” spaces to discuss their issues and tell their stories. Feminist movements have also benefited from digital tools and spaces in reaching women everywhere and overcoming many challenges related to resources and organization.

Despite all the gains and since digital spaces are an extension of people’s behavior and culture in the actual sphere, digital spaces have also been a room for exposure to GBV, discrimination, and imbalance in power relations. Accordingly, women are exposed to violence and discrimination regarding equal and safe access to the digital sphere. Therefore, women’s rights defenders in the MENA region are working extensively to raise awareness, advocate for women’s rights on safety and security in digital spaces, and push for more responsive policies and services that support women against GBV in the digital sphere.

Consequently, EFDE has launched this campaign to shed light on violence against women in the digital sphere and to highlight the significant role of digital feminist groups and women’s rights defenders (WHRDs) who mainly rely on digital tools and spaces in their work and the challenges they face to sustain their activities. The campaign also aims to reflect the reality of their efforts and the digital feminist initiatives and groups in Egypt. This included posting of real cases of violence against women related to the digital sphere (cyber violence against women), visual materials, and infographics on the context-related statistics and percentages from our VAW Crimes Observatory, a webinar on the reality and future of digital feminist groups in Egypt and tweeting about the achievements and challenges of advocating women’s rights in the digital sphere as well as presenting the different definitions of digital violence and the methods of assistance that women can resort to.

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newsletter- SafeComm4women webinar, activites & recommendations -March 2023 En



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