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Youth Café | Cyber Violence against Women

In Bangladesh, online violence against women is now quite a rampant practice. Like home, transport or street, the cyberspace has become such a media through which men and women work or give productive time. According to a number of statistical data of research findings, more than 75% of women are succumbing to the risk of becoming a victim of online violence like sexual harassment, online hacking, cyber pornography, blackmail and extortion, defamation, terrorist activity, etc.

To start the discussion what we really understand by cyber violence against women, addressing the issues of online violence, raising awareness of responsible use of technology and social media, a Youth Café titled ‘’Cyber Violence against Women” was held on December 5, 2019 at ICT Department of Noakhali Science and Technology University, under the 16 Days of Activism of Participatory Research Action Network- PRAN. More than 50 students, teachers and representatives of youth organizations of NSTU participated in this event.

Nishu Nath, Lecturer of ICT Department, sharing her experience as a woman said, specifically through gross misuse of social media like Facebook or YouTube, women are being presented and displayed in a degrading way that degenerates their status and honor. Secret footage and audios concerning women, cooked up videos targeted to undermine women, both implicit and explicit indications and hints which humiliate women are a form of violence obviously.

Such type of violence affects women’s mental health, work potential. Preventing cyber violence is essential to and all types of gender-based violence overall because these contribute to normalizing physical violence against women, emphasizes Jahedus Salehin, Assistant Professor of ICT Department. He requested the students to reveal the incidents of violence to someone they trust to relieve the stress and emotional turmoil, must document the abuse and take help from police.

The students express their experience regarding cyber violence and some of them mentioned that till now there are a number of internet users who do not understand what cyber violence is even if they are being a victim themselves because for most of the people cyber violence is not fully defined to identify the incidents of violence. They feel the necessity to define certain harmful forms of cyber violence and raise awareness thereby.

They emphasized practicing responsible use of cyberspace and raise our voice to prevent all types of violence against women.

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