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“Women shouldn’t be expected to pay this cost just to participate.” Online Gender-Based Violence and Abuse: Consultation Briefing

October 6, 2021

Too often our digital world amplifies existing violence, abuse and discrimination that women and girls face offline. This can silence, discredit and censor women’s voices online. If this issue is not addressed urgently, the web will remain as one more medium in which women, and particularly women from marginalised communities, are attacked and have their voices suppressed, instead of being the platform that amplifies gender equality and spearheads positive change that we know it can be.

In response to this urgent issue, the Web Foundation held a series of consultations around online gender-based violence and abuse throughout 2020 and 2021. The consultations were part of the Web Foundation’s Tech Policy Design Lab which aims to bridge the gap between technologists, policymakers, researchers and those who use online services. The consultations were crucial in informing the development of concrete policy solutions based on the expertise and lived experiences of participants.

This digest covers how we define this problem, and pulls out key concepts from across the consultations. Read the digest to find out more about key themes and powerful stories from women activists, women in public life and young women shared during the sessions.

Illustration by Thomas Pullin.