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Electronic "shield" for gender equality

tromaktikoBy Vasso Kollia,
Secretary-General for Gender Equality

The "thriller" of kidnapping 276 girls from the extreme Islamic organization "Boko Haram" in Nigeria has once again highlighted the enormous positive potential of the internet. In spite of the reactions and the criticism that is being made, in emerging online public opinion we can identify a social force with progressive potential that can work positively for gender equality by making available current information on the situation of women in different societies in the world .

Already, a global wave of support has been brought about by exerting pressure on Nigeria's competent bodies and authorities in order to act forcefully to resolve the crisis that has erupted.

We realize that accountability is no longer defined by the limits of jurisdiction set by national institutions or even by international organizations. With the help of digital clusters and networks, reputable international non-governmental organizations and activist organizations mobilize the citizen-user of the internet for "difficult" issues such as domestic or sexual violence against women through research and evidence. The information and views are then reproduced by traditional news channels reaching every corner of the globe.

Thus, following the publication of a recent United Nations survey, it has become more widely known that Latin American countries show increased levels of domestic violence in relation to other parts of the world. We learned that a woman is murdered every 15 second in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, while Colombia has quadrupled in the last two years the proportion of women attacked with hydrochloric acid, resulting in their distortion.

Through the internet, the issue of gender-based abortion has been extended, a practice that continues to be applied or revived, to the extent that it has disturbed the demographic balance in some parts of the world. In China, India, the Caucasus, and in other parts of Asia boys' birth rates are up to 10% over girls.

In December of 2012, the brutish rape of an 23 Indian student on a bus in New Delhi, which also killed her, caused horror all over the world. This rape was one of the thousands committed in India every year, with the capital of the country holding the sad scepter. But it was a symbol that sums up the horror of this act, opening Aeolus' purses, as well as the news "pylores" all over the world. It has triggered an unprecedented social outcry within and outside the country, which has forced India to adopt a stricter legal framework for rape and sexual harassment.

In the sensitization of the global community, the electronic media broadcasting the tragic news directly around the world played a central role as well as images of the large-scale demonstrations that erupted within the country after the incident. Along with this incident, other horrific acts, attempted suicide of rape victims, attempted murders by the perpetrator, and creepy stories of rape and death of infamous barbarity infant began to come to publicity.

The internet has shown that it can support the international, digital expression of public opinion to play the role of a mirror towards closed, conservative or stagnant societies, where stormy waters can conceal poorly disguised areas of human injustice and gender inequality.

But we should not forget that the internet is not a neutral "tool" or a cluster of "pipelines" of communication, but it is also a universe, an ecosystem that can also pose dangers and "infamous" neighborhoods. It is not uncommon for girls or women to be blackmailed in order not to be exposed in front of the open "window" of social networks reaching up to suicide.

But let us keep our optimism. The emergence of regressive customs and practices through web communities may put pressure on positive results for women in regions of the world who wish to come together and to cope with more progressive and developed societies. Perhaps, however, the most important conclusion is that through internet socialization we can find that in every country, everywhere, there are always people who will be faced with degrading practices or even violence against women.

Our people will have much more hopes of becoming more human if the fruits of the effort of sensitized people are multiplied, using the new media and networking tools to claim a better and fairer life for men, women and children.

 

Source: press-gr.blogspot.gr

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