The Community Media Center (CMC) organized a digital campaign with the aim of combating violence and gender-based discrimination against women and girls in the digital space, as part of the activities of the media campaign on the occasion of March 8, International Women’s Day, with the participation of ambassadors of digital security at the Community Media Center, and a group of media professionals and activists.
Andalib Adwan, Director of the CMC, said that the world celebrates International Women’s Day this year under the theme “Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”, as the Arab world stands at the risk of the growing digital divide between the sexes and the impact of technology, one of the reasons why women are left behind, as rates of digital violence against women and girls in all its forms rise. According to a report issued by the United Nations, women are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men in the world. Sada Social Center, explained that 2 out of every three Palestinian women were subjected to digital violence, or approximately 61% in 2022.
Adwan noted that this reality necessarily requires intensifying formal and informal efforts towards achieving gender equality in the digital space, and in this context the CMC is working to enhance awareness and advocacy efforts for the digital rights of women and girls for the fourth year in a row within its plans and projects. This year, the CMC is launching the #Protection_Right campaign, under the slogan "Continuing against gender-based violence and discrimination towards women and girls in the digital space."
The #Protect_Right campaign aimed to educate women and girls about their rights to a safe and effective digital presence, in addition to improving the behavior and practices of women and girls during their presence in the digital space to reduce the risk of their exposure to cybercrimes, in addition to involving all parties related to the digital rights of women and girls in particular in order to enhance their role in guiding women and girls during their presence on the Internet.
The #Protect_Right campaign was launched at the beginning of March 2023, by producing and broadcasting a radio spot to raise awareness about how to prevent electronic piracy, and it will continue to be broadcast throughout the current month on Gaza FM Radio, in addition to printing a billboard to encourage women and girls who are subjected to domestic violence to use the Misahatuna application. Which was issued by the CMC a year ago with the aim of facilitating their access to the multi-sectoral services provided by the institutions operating in the Gaza Strip in order to protect them from domestic violence, and to hang it in the streets of the governorates of Gaza and North Gaza. The campaign activities included the production of a set of media and digital materials in an attempt to invest better multimedia that attracts public interest and displays content, as the content varied between text messages, designs, motion graphics, whiteboards, stand-ups, podcasts, and interviews with informal entities related to combating digital violence against women and girls.
The #Protect_Right campaign included holding an orientation session on gender-based violence and discrimination against women and girls in the digital space, with the participation of male and female digital safety ambassadors at the CMC, and a group of media professionals and activists, where they discussed the issue and contributed to publishing the content of the campaign, which was launched on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter platforms, with the aim of achieving the best reach rate among the target audience and thus contributing to enhancing their awareness.
In parallel, the CMC broadcast a live interactive digital session through its accounts on Facebook and Instagram, entitled “Protecting Privacy on the Internet and Social Media Platforms”, and it was moderated by the journalist and specialist in media and digital security, Sultan Nasser, where the session included providing consultations and advice to the public and answering questions. A series of inquiries about security issues and preserving privacy on social media, the use of the Internet, how to deal in the event of insecurity or exposure to any electronic crime, and reporting mechanisms with the competent authorities.
In a related context, Kholoud Al-Sawalmeh, Projects Manager at the CMC, noted that the #Protection_Right campaign comes within the activities of the third year of the project “Improving the Level of Protection for Women and Youth from Gender-Based Violence – Our Safe Spaces”, in partnership with the Foundation Terre des Zoom - Switzerland.
The Our Safe Spaces project aims to improve the protection of women and girls in the Gaza Strip from gender-based violence, including sexual violence, by promoting community awareness of advocating for women’s rights and gender equality, as well as supporting women’s and girls’ access to multi-sector services related to gender-based violence.
The CMC is a non-governmental organization operating in the Gaza Strip since 2007, seeking to develop the role of the media in dealing with societal issues, and promoting the values of democracy, equality and a culture of human rights, with a focus on women and youth issues and highlighting them through various media means within thea human rights based approach.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.