Countering Digital Gender Based Violence in Pakistan: Creating feminist internet spaces

Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: María Rún Bjarnadóttir


Violence against women and non-binary people in Pakistan, as in other parts of the world, is regulated and socially implanted. Cultural standards and conventions that have been generally institutionalized are the most components of violence against women and non- binary people in Pakistani society. Patriarchal culture is a vital parameter in this respect since it shapes the common attitude on which Pakistani guidelines, morals, laws, and community behaviors are based, and most of these put women and non-binary people in a second rate position in comparison to men. With the development and growing usage of technology and the internet, we have seen the same toxic patriarchal behavior replicated on social media platforms as well, which results in women and non-binary people facing digital hate and violence.

This project aims to deal with the consequences of gender-based violence (GBV) on digital platforms in Pakistan and the lack of awareness of tools to counter GBV online. Through this project, we aim to reach and train women and non- binary people to equip them with tools to counter digital violence, raise awareness, and empower them to create and claim digital spaces. Through these trainings we will be able to create 'feminist' internet spaces in Pakistan, which are available to everyone, and in which everyone has agency over their speech and their freedom to access knowledge.

Violence against women is a significant impediment to the advancement of gender equality. Undeniably, unless we take steps to ensure that the internet is a safe space for women and girls, our digital technology will serve only to further attack, suppress, and marginalize women, rather than serving as a platform for voice, opportunity, and positive change that we know it has the potential to be. In order to combat online violence and make the web a safe and empowering environment for everyone, it is critical that businesses and governments collaborate closely with women's rights activists and the larger civic tech community. Through trainings, policy dialogues and creating women network spaces, this project aims to bring different players on the same page.