ESafety joins global partnership to end online abuse of women

Australia’s online safety regulator eSafety is joining forces with global counterparts to help end the online harassment and abuse of women.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said Australia has signed up as a founding member of the Global Partnership to End Online Harassment and Abuse, a joint initiative led by the US White House Gender Policy Council, and as part of by Denmark’s Tech for Democracy Initiative and the US Summit for Democracy.

“eSafety is honoured to be part of this global effort and looks forward to collaborating on our shared commitment to eliminating online gender-based violence,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“We know online abuse is a significant issue for Australian women.

“Misogynistic online abuse of women is often violent and sexualised, designed to silence women and stop them from advocating on important issues or promoting their businesses or work.

“This important partnership aims to increase understanding of the pervasiveness, impact, and political and economic costs of gender-based online harassment and abuse around the world.

“It will also aim to strengthen prevention of and responses to gender-based online harassment and abuse, with a focus on the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

Ms Inman Grant said eSafety was concerned by the trend of gender-based harassment and abuse and its impact on women and girls.

“Women are over-represented in reports to eSafety about image-based and adult cyber abuse, which have increased significantly during the pandemic, and reflect broader gender inequalities in society,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“Important eSafety research released earlier this month found that one in three working women were abused online, which led to many stepping away from digital platforms and taking a backward step in their careers.

“We know that online gender-based violence is a complex matter that transcends national borders. That is why eSafety looks forward to tackling these issues with our global partners, sharing insights from Australia and learning from colleagues from around the world.

Ms Inman Grant will speak at the virtual global launch of the Global Partnership to End Online Harassment and Abuse at an event hosted by the UN Commission on the Status of Women on Wednesday 16 March at 11:30pm AEDT.

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