Women’s safety activists launch petition to strengthen online safety bill

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A petition urging the government to explicitly include women and girls in the online safety bill has been launched by security activists.

The End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) and the anti-online abuse charity Glitch have called for the bill to be adapted to name and recognize the ways in which online abuse disproportionately affects women and men. girls.

He cites a series of reports on the issue which have found that women are 27 times more likely than men to be harassed online, while one in five women experience harassment or abuse online and that black women are 84% more likely to be abused online than white women.

The petition, which was posted on change.org, called on the bill to specifically identify online abuse against women and girls – including image-based sexual abuse, cyber flashes, deepfakes and others. behaviors – and address them.

“This new law is about getting tech companies to take action,” said Andrea Simon, director of EVAW.

“But if the law doesn’t name the problem, then how are tech companies going to solve it?”

“This is a unique opportunity to enable women to be free and safe from abuse in online spaces, and it cannot be wasted. This law must include women and girls within it.

The online security bill, which is expected to oblige the biggest tech companies to owe due diligence to users, is currently under scrutiny by MPs and peers.

“Women and girls need to feel free not only to survive in online spaces, but also to thrive,” said Glitch Founder and CEO Seyi Akiwowo.

“I think it’s great that we have a bill that aims to regulate tech companies to improve online safety, but there’s no mention of women or gender.

“This law must address how women face gender misinformation and are targeted online. “


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