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June 14, 2022 - Comments Off on May Newsletter 2022: DRF releases Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2021

May Newsletter 2022: DRF releases Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2021

Policy Initiatives

DRF releases Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report 2021

This month, the 2021 Annual Helpline Report was launched with a weeklong social media campaign which was covered by all major press publications in the country. Videos featuring women journalists’ experience with online harassment by virtue of their gender and profession were also shared, as well as videos featuring graphics of some statistics from the report.

Link to report: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/helpline-annual-report-2021-1.pdf

Cyber Harassment Helpline Policy Brief 2022

DRF is proud to launch the Cyber Harassment Helpline: 2022 Policy Brief, highlighting the risks that women journalists face in online spaces.

Click here to read the full policy brief: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Policy-Brief-2.pdf

Online Campaigns

Twitter Space: How can the Cyber Harassment Helpline you?

Journalists Tehreem Azeem and Sabah Bano Malik joined Nighat Dad for a Twitter Space titled ‘How can the Cyber Harassment Helpline help you?’

Link to space: https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1527180770074406912?s=20&t=G_kS6ZgFnCJpPmyT8dknqA

World Press Freedom Day

On this World Press Freedom Day DRF held a campaign on press freedom which started off with a tribute to journalists who lost their lives to bring credible information to the public. Infographics related to the ten challenges that journalists faced in the digital world were slao shared.

Twitter Space on World Press Freedom Day 2022

DRF held a Twitter space on 6th May on account of World Press Freedom Day regarding press freedom with Mehmal Sarfaraz, Amber Shamsi, Munizae Jahangir and Nighat Dad. In the Twitter Space women journalists highlighted their experiences in the field and the trolling they face on the internet.

Stories of Women Journalists and their experiences with Cyber Harassment

DRF introduces its series on 'Stories of Women Journalists & their experiences with Cyber Harassment.' The stories capture these women's experiences of the internet & how they were targeted online because of their work.

#SahafatAurSachai

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1529417001264766976?s=20&t=G_kS6ZgFnCJpPmyT8dknqA

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1529779380062343169?s=20&t=G_kS6ZgFnCJpPmyT8dknqA

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1531953705808850946?s=20&t=G_kS6ZgFnCJpPmyT8dknqA
DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline in collaboration with the FIA working together to stop online harassment

One of the services that the Cyber Harassment Helpline provides is legal guidance in the face of online harassment. We regularly refer and work with the FIA to provide relief to our complainants. The Cyber Harassment Helpline is available 7 days a week from 9 am till 5 pm (Monday to Sunday). Call us on 0800-39393, email us at
helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk, or reach out to us on Twitter.

 

Press/Media Coverage

DRF’s Nighat Dad joined Capital Talk to discuss online harassment against women journalists

DRF’s Nighat Dad joined Hamid Mir’s Capital Talk show to highlight harassment online that women and women journalists face. She also focused on structural reform and due process in the system to provide protection.

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1522576920768000000?s=20&t=G_kS6ZgFnCJpPmyT8dknqA

How DRF’s Women-Led Team Provides Support To Victims Of Cyber Harassment Amid Govt’s Indifference

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Annual Report was covered by the Friday Times highlighting the accomplishments of the helpline.

Cyber Harassment Helpline 2021 Report Release at Lahore Rang

Lahore Rang: The Cyber Harassment Helpline Manager appeared on the Good Morning Lahore show to talk about the 2021 Helpline Annual Report. She talked about the different types of cases that the Helpline receives, the role of law enforcement agencies, and what people can do to protect themselves online.

Trainings’/Workshops

Journalism Under Digital Seige: World Press Freedom Day

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on a panel in Islamabad held by UNESCO titled, ‘Journalism Under Digital Seige’ on account of World Press Freedom Day. She emphasized taking a multi-stakeholder approach to any regulatory mechanism which is to be applied to the internet and social media.

Digital rights from a feminist perspective. How to create a secure digital space for women?

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke at the Palestine Digital Activism Forum on the panel ‘Digital Rights from a Feminist Perspective. How to create a secure digital space for women?’. Nighat focused on the need for women to reclaim online spaces and express ourselves freely without the threat of trolling online.

Participation in IAF Seminar

DRF and Pakistan were represented at the 2022 IAF Seminar on ‘Liberalism v Populism’ by Project Manager Zainab Durrani from the 8th to the 20th of May in Gummersbach, Germany. The seminar attempted to deconstruct populism in a holistic manner by analyzing populism from the perspectives of its philosophical foundations, its political strategy with international case studies to its current-day political communication strategy. The methodology was a mix of theory with practice with a particular focus on the aspect of political storytelling. The seminar was facilitated by Sven Gerst, a veteran IAF instructor and PhD candidate at the King’s College London and Radu Magdin, a global analyst and consultant who specializes in political communications. The seminar saw 25 participants from 22 countries around the world and was a deeply interesting experience with a sharp and informative learning curve that was coupled with team-building and idea-exchanging group activities, leading to a very rewarding experience overall.

Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) Conference

DRF took part in the 15th international Computers, Privacy & Data Protection (CPDP) conference. Shmyla Khan spoke at the panel titled “Datafication and Platformisation in Asia: Data-Rich and Policy-Poor or Vice Versa?” on May 24, 2022. The panel, moderated by Malavika Jayaram, unpacked the specific ways in which datafication and platformisation across Asia are both enabling and challenging, and their implications for rights, entitlements, and consumer welfare while highlighting recent legal and policy developments (in China, Pakistan, Singapore).

Details of the panel can be found here.

DRF Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

Cyber Harassment Helpline now 7 Days a week

DRF's Cyber Harassment Helpline is now switching to 7 days a week. You can now call us on 0800-39393 Monday till Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.

April Statistics

In April 2022 the Cyber Harassment Helpline received 195 complaints from across the country. The majority of the complaints received were by women of blackmail and sharing of NCUI (non-consensual use of information).

https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1524034023349276674?s=20&t=G_kS6ZgFnCJpPmyT8dknqA

IWF Portal

DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu, and Pashto.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

https://stopncii.org/

 

May 10, 2022 - Comments Off on April Newsletter 2022: DRF launches Annual Report 2021

April Newsletter 2022: DRF launches Annual Report 2021

Policy Initiatives

DRF launched Annual Report 2021

DRF launched its annual report 2021 which is a summation of the work we have done over the year, the people helped, and the milestones we’ve achieved!

Link to annual report: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Annual-Report-2021.pdf

Policy Papers: Perspectives on Gendered Disinformation

DRF launched its anthology titled “Policy Papers: Perspectives on Gendered Disinformation” throughout March and April 2022. The research study, with contributions from 6 authors, is brings feminist perspectives from the Global South to the subject of disinformation. A must read for anyone interested in these subjects and the future of the internet!

The anthology/report can be accessed here.

DRF condemns arrests and harassment for online speech and dissent.

DRF released a statement condemning the arrests and harassment for online speech and dissent on political party workers. Read our full statement here.

DRF signed an MoU with Bali Memorial Trust

An MoU was signed between DRF and Bali Memorial Trust this week. This agreement is a formal recognition of a fruitful partnership in which both organizations will try their best to help each other to the best of their abilities with the services they can provide.

Online Campaigns

Phishing Scams

DRF shared an awareness-raising infographic on phishing scams and how they are becoming more and more common as the use of social media rises worldwide.

#WomenMakingWaves

DRF continued with its women making waves campaign and celebrated the feminist icon Asma Jahangir! Asma Jahangir left behind a legacy based on her work in human rights that is as powerful as it is inspiring!

Trainings’/Workshops

New Agendas for Data Justice

April 6. 2022

DRF took part in a panel discussion titled “New Agendas for Data Justice” hosted by the Alan Turing Institute to talk about its participation in the multi-country project on data justice.

Details of the panel can be found here.

Details of the data justice project can be accessed here.

Online Safety Workshop

April 18, 2022

DRF conducted a workshop with media professionals, particularly focusing on Urdu media, to build their understanding and capacity in using safe online practices to advance their work in digital journalism. The workshop was held in Lahore and was attended by 17 people in total.

Meeting with Ombudsperson:

April 12, 2022

DRF’s legal team had a meeting with the Ombudsperson (Punjab) and submitted proposed amendments to ‘The (Punjab) Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act’. During the meeting, the challenges faced by the survivors of sexual harassment at workplace were discussed. Moreover, the possibility of collaboration was considered.

Press/Media Coverage

Digital rights body receives 4,441 blackmailing complaints

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline received 4441 blackmailing complaints in 2021 alone.

Read the full article here: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/952849-digital-rights-body-receives-4-441-blackmailing-complaints

Civil Liberties Groups Urge Social Media Platforms to Better Protect Free Flow of Information in Crisis Zones

DRF signed a statement with other civil liberties groups on how Russia's invasion of Ukraine underscores the need to plan for emergencies and treat all crisis zones even-handedly.

Read the full statement here:

https://www.eff.org/press/releases/human-rights-groups-urge-social-media-platforms-better-protect-free-flow-information

COVID19/Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In March of 2022, the Cyber Harassment Helpline catered to 206 unique cases of online violence. The majority of the complaints received by our team were made by women. Callers on the helpline range from lawyers and journalists to members of minority groups, too.

You can reach out to us at 0800-39393 or helpdesk@digitalrightsfoundation.pk .

IWF Portal

DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu, and Pashto.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk
StopNCII.org

Meta along with Revenge Porn Helpline (RPH) has launched a portal to support victims of Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse (NCII). NCII is a free portal for reporting cases of sensitive or sexual content existing online. Once you report a case, the necessary steps will be taken to block the images from the platform.

https://stopncii.org

April 13, 2022 - Comments Off on March 2022 Newsletter: Women Making Waves: DRF celebrates Women’s Day this March!

March 2022 Newsletter: Women Making Waves: DRF celebrates Women’s Day this March!

Campaigns:

Women Making Waves: DRF celebrates Women’s Day on 8th March

For Women’s Day this year, DRF launched its long awaited campaign, “Women Making Waves” which highlighted the achievements of women across a diverse range of fields. The spirit, joy, resilience and hard work of women such as Asma Jahangir, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Hina Jillani and Jehan Ara was celebrated.

As part of our campaign, a virtual panel was held in the form of a Tweetchat in which speakers were invited to share their experiences and thoughts  regarding Digital Feminism.

DRF Collaborates with META to launch StopNCII

DRF worked alongside Meta to launch the StopNCII (Stop Non-Consensual Intimate Image Abuse) for users in Pakistan. The portal, available in English and Urdu, allows any victims of online blackmailing and extortion to preemptively prevent intimate images to be uploaded onto the platform without their consent.

The portal can be accessed through this link: https://stopncii.org/ or by reaching out to DRF’s Helpline

Policy Initiatives

Survey on Digital Engagement and Experiences of Youth

DRF is conducting research on the “Digital Engagement and Experiences of Pakistani Youth” to map issues faced by young people in Pakistan vis-a-viz the internet. Help us spread the word by sharing the survey among 18 - 35 year olds in Pakistan.

Access the survey: https://t.co/O9fWVCZ4er.

Trainings and Workshops

DRF hosts session with Medical Students on Online Violence

DRF held a session with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) on Online Violence. Seerat Khan and Hyra Basit conducted a session with IFMSA with students from Allama Iqbal medical university on online violence and the legal landscape currently present in Pakistan. The session was attended by 43 students online in which they shared their experience of navigating online spaces.

UNDP Panel on Gender Equality for a Sustainable Tomorrow

International Women's Day 2022 Online Deliberation: "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow"- On 9th March DRF’s Program Manager Seerat Khan took part in an online panel on Gender Equality today for a sustainable tomorrow for UNDP. The panel had Rukshanda Naz (Ombudsperson KP), Rabia Javeri (Chairperson National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR)), Seerat Khan (Senior Program Manager DRF) and Tahira Abdullah (Independent Human Rights Defender). The session was moderated by Salman Asif ( Senior Human Rights and Social Protection Expert UNDP). Each panelist highlighted different themes of gender based violence in Pakistan and discussed the current discourse on it. The session was in light of the International Women’s Day.

Nighat Dad Moderates Panel, “Justice, not #Hastags”

On March 5th 2022, Nighat Dad moderated a panel titled “Justice, not #hashtags: Navigating Violence Against Women and its Digital Reflection” as part of the WOW Festival 2022. The panel included DRF’s Shmyla Khan along with Imaan Mazari and Asma Shirazi. The discussion was centered around the importance and limitations of online spaces in pursuing gender justice in Pakistan.

The panel can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4HepVth81o&list=PLrgMMGAhwz5geDjpuxXZQnEwO-vwNfv7Q

Panel on Importance of Free Speech

An excellent panel was held by The Future of Free Speech on free speech and content moderation on 17th March, 2022.  Experts from the industry, academia and civil society were all present and shared their views on the importance and relevance of free speech in today’s day and age.

Stakeholder Dialogue by CPDI attended by DRF

DRF attended a stakeholder dialogue by CPDI on Punjab Local Government Ordinance 2021 on the 29th of March. The dialogue had meaningful conversations around strong local governments and making them more inclusive. The consultations was attended by MPA’s, civil society, lawyers and judges working on the issue.

DRF’s Meeting with NCHR:

DRF’s team met with the National Commission of Human Rights in Lahore to discuss issues of digital rights, including data protection, content moderation and safety. This meeting was held on 14th March, 2022.

DRF takes part in Report Launch by GPAI 2022

As part of its research as a pilot partner with the Alan Turning Institute UK, DRF took part in the GPAI 2022 “Report launch: advancing research and practice on data justice” panel. Shmyla Khan, the director for research and policy presented DRF’s findings at the panel. This panel was held on 23rd of March, 2022.

You can learn more about the project here.

The panel can be viewed here

DRF Team Meets with Ombudsperson, Punjab

DRF’s team met with the Ombudsperson (Punjab) on 30th March, 2022 to discuss issues faced by survivors of harassment at the workplace and accordingly proposed amendments to the law.

Workshops on Digital Rights Awareness Held in 3 Districts by DRF

DRF conducted 6 one-day workshops in partnership with Simorgh between March 16 to 25, 2022 in three districts of Punjab (Lahore, Kasur and Toba Tek Singh). The workshops by DRF focused on issues of online safety and digital rights awareness for communities.

Press and Media Coverage

katalystlabspk

@LabsKatalyst

#KatalysingKween @nighatdad is a force to reckon with! She is a lawyer and founder of @DigitalRightsPK focused on making the internet a safe space for everyone, especially women in Pakistan & South Asia

We invite you to our first discussion in three-part webinar series titled "Access to Justice: Obstacles & the way forward”

Topic: No honor in killing - The law & its implication (Review of Criminal Law Amendments 2016 - Mar 2, 2022 06:00 PM

Covid-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 151 complaints in February

In February, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total 151 complaints.  Majority of these complaints were received through the medium of calls received on our Helpline number.  Types of cases reported were mainly linked to cyber harassment. However, cases of domestic violence, general inquiry and financial fraud were also recorded.

The Cyber Harassment Helpline receives calls from individuals belonging to a range of professions, including journalism, civil society and media personnel. Cyber Harassment can happen to anyone, regardless of their profession or status in society.

April 7, 2022 - Comments Off on February 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches its Pro-bono Legal Network to Support Women and Girls Experiencing Gender-based Violence Cases.

February 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches its Pro-bono Legal Network to Support Women and Girls Experiencing Gender-based Violence Cases.

Policy Initiatives

Ab Aur Nahi - Pro Bono Lawyer Network

In light of increased cases of domestic violence against women and young girls, DRF decided to relaunch the ‘Ab aur Nahin’ initiative. This initiative has been developed by the legal team and is an attempt to create an expansive and supportive community of capable lawyers. These lawyers will offer their services for free to women and children who have undergone abuse and do not have the means to fund their legal expenses.

These services will hence constitute pro bono legal services. The aim is to bring together like minded individuals to support those in need.

To become a part of this initiative to help women and gender minorities, sign up here: https://t.co/s66fm56vyd

Digital Engagement and Experiences of Pakistani Youth Survey:

A survey on the Digital experiences and engagement of young Pakistanis was circulated in February. This survey and study is being conducted to look at patterns of the youth with regard to their usage of social media and the role it plays in their day to day lives.

We would love your input! This survey will only take a few minutes, we would really appreciate it if you could spare the time and fill it out! Find the survey here!:https://forms.gle/rQZ7JXYexpuzeSxP7…

Trainings and Workshops

Safe and Democratic Online Spaces in Pakistan - Session

DRF conducted the Safe and Democratic Online Spaces in Pakistan session with human rights defenders. This session was hosted online on Zoom and was based  on online safety and the  digital landscape. The session was held on the 16th and 17th of February, 2021. The session was attended by 18 participants.

Campaigns

The Cyber Harassment Helpline January 2022 Activity

The start of 2022 has been a demanding and busy time for the Helpline, with 242 new complaints registered. 181 of these complaints were calls made to our Helpline.

Once more, we predominantly received complaints made by women (161) who were cyber harassment, blackmailing and unsolicited contact.

We also directly help human rights defenders such as journalists, lawyers and activists, who are susceptible to online hate speech and bullying

Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you or anyone you know is experiencing cyber harassment or hate speech online.

Media and Press Coverage:

Nighat Dad speaks at Information and Democracy Forum Panel

Nighat Dad spoke at the panel based on information and the need for a proactive democratic governance system in the Digital space. She is the vice-chair of @Forum_InfoD,  and joined remotely to talk about our efforts to establish an International Observatory on information and democracy.

#MediaFreedomConference #MediaFreedom

Nighat Dad speaks on Hate Speech and Challenges to Governance at

Nighat Dad joined a group of panelists as a member of the Oversight Board. She joined in for an online public plenary at #IMCKUGU and spoke about hate speech and the challenges to governance as a consequence.

This online panel was held on February 15th, 2022 at 14:00 PKT.

Nighat shared some insights on how the Oversight Board is trying to balance the interests of users and communities around the world.

You can watch the full session at https://bit.ly/3LO4gig

Nighat Dad speaks at Panel, “Cybercrime: A Digital Threat”

Our Executive  Director Nighat Dad spoke at the panel “Cybercrime: A Digital Threat” this Monday & discussed various threats such as stalking, stealing of identities & selling of personal data which are quickly becoming global threats to online communities.

Watch here: https://tinyurl.com/mjk6x3c

Covid-19 Updates

Cyber Harassment Helpline Officers take the first Thursday of every month for self-care!

The Cyber Harassment Helpline will not be available on Thursday, 3rd February on account of being a self-care day for Helpline Officers. This gives them time to unwind and return to their posts rejuvenated! You can always reach out to us on our socials in case you need to!

 

 

 

March 3, 2022 - Comments Off on January 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches 5th Edition of Digital 50.50; Feminist E-Magazine on GBV

January 2022 Newsletter: DRF Launches 5th Edition of Digital 50.50; Feminist E-Magazine on GBV

Policy Initiatives

DRF Launches 5th Edition of Digital 50.50; Feminist E-Magazine on GBV

DRF launched it's last edition of Digital 50.50 for 2021 in January. The issue focused on fighting gender based violence and covered features and research articles penned down by our network of women journalists. It can be accessed on DRF's website here:

https://www.canva.com/design/DAEzo1W7s7I/1OaMaXQdK7uMaOTJoNW-bw/view

 

New Issue of Hamara Internet

After a successful relaunch of our Hamara Internet website, DRF launched new content on the website! New Vlogs, Blogs and E-Bulletin articles were shared on the website with the theme being gender based violence.The content shed light on varying forms and aspects of gender based violence on society at large.

Visit the HI website here: https://hamarainternet.org/

DRF backs Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act, Amendment 2022.

The Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Act, 2022, drafted by the Ministry of Human Rights with input from women’s rights groups & lawyers has been lauded as a ‘revolutionary step’.

Read more: https://www.geo.tv/latest/396170-revolutionary-step-bill-to-protect-women-against-harassment-at-workplace-becomes-law

Submission to Special Rapporteur on Right to Freedom of Expression

DRF made  a submission to the Special Rapporteur on Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression for a report on “Opportunities, Challenges and Threats to Media in the Digital Age”.

Submission can be found on our website here.

Stories of Women Journalists: Initiative launched by DRF to support Journalists in Pakistan

DRF launched its “Stories of Women Journalists” an important initiative thatt sheds light on the real life experiences of women journalists in relation to experiencing cyber harassment and online abuse. The stories are real life accounts of the varying forms of harassment women in the field have had to face as a consequence of choosing a profession in journalism in Pakistan.

DRF Commemorates Annual Data Privacy Day

In honour of Data Privacy Day being observed world over on 28th January. DRF shared important discussions held at its 8th National Data Privacy Conference in Islamabad, which occurred in November of 2021. DRF has done extensive work on data privacy through it's Data Protection & Privacy portfolio. Privacy is a core tenet of the advocacy work we do, and we have conducted various studies & researches on this topic.

#DataPrivacyDay

Here is some of our research:https://tinyurl.com/mv4626a

Also, you can access all the panels held at the conference at the link to our YouTube channel here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cweQhKjqU4Q

Panels and Webinars

Nighat Dad speaks as Guest Lecturer at ITU on Surveillance and Data Privacy

Nighat spoke at Information Technology University as a guest lecturer for a course on 24th January, 2022. She discussed the relevant topics of surveillance and Data Privacy in today’s day and age.The theme discussed was  contextualized in Pakistan.

Nighat Dad speaks at American Bar Association Virtual  Event on Data Security and Digital Privacy

Our Executive Director, Nighat, spoke at the virtual session hosted by the American Bar Association on 'Data security and digital privacy in the Asia-Pacific region', on 26th Jan alongside Michael Pang (@Protiviti), and Patel Champa @patel_champa (@CrisisGroup).

Events and Training Sessions

DRF Attends Stakeholder Consultation Hosted by UNDP on Gender Gap in Tech

DRF attended the Stakeholder Consultation: Time to Close the Gender Gap in Tech by UNDP in which a much needed discussion around gender and technology took place. DRF shared it’s own research on the subject and how more needs to be done in order to make the internet a safer and inclusive space.

Media Coverage

Executive Director of DRF, Nighat Dad was mentioned in an article produced by UNDP regarding the Development Advocate Pakistan project review. For the report, “The Equality Paradigm, Nighat was quoted saying, "Digital technologies are central to human rights activism in bearing witness of lived realities, developing campaigns for human rights and placing demands of govts & the international community.”

DRF Speaks with  Creators of Comic “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures”

DRF spoke to the creators of the Comic “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures” and to gain an insight into the motivation, creative process and ideation that went behind the brilliant piece.

Read the blog featuring @azizalaziza & @SiddiquiZuha here: https://t.co/O1sEKnylJw

Nighat Dad’s Work Featured in Feminish Tech Principles Initiative

Our Executive Director Nighat Dad was featured in Feminist Tech Principles put together with Superrr Lab. She was asked to share her “Feminist Tech Principle” which she stated as “acccessibility, equitable participation and representation.” You can find her contributions here: https://tinyurl.com/485c4jjt

You can access groovy and interesting website for Feminist Tech Principles here: http://feministtech.org

Covid-19 Updates

In January of 2022,  the Cyber Harassment Helpline recorded 191 complaints received, out of which 160 complaints were calls.

We predominately dealt with cases or cyber harassment & received a number of complaints by journalists who were receiving threats and ongoing instances of hacking. If you are experiencing any form of cyber harassment or suspect someone may be, do not hesitate to reach us at 0800-39393 or contact us on our social media platforms.

 

January 21, 2022 - Comments Off on December 2021 Newsletter | 16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

December 2021 Newsletter | 16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

Policy Initiatives

16 days of Activism Campaign with Ministry of Human Rights, 2021

For 16-days of Activism against Gender-based violence. The theme for 2021 was “Orange the World: End Violence Against Women Now!” DRF was honoured to collaborate with esteemed government body, Ministry of Human Rights to launch a joint campaign tackling the subject of gender-based violence, and the intersection between violence in online and offline spaces.

DRF designed and spearheaded the campaign with posts almost everyday, touching on a variety of important issues related to 16-days. From November 25th, 2021 to December 10th, 2021, DRF and MoHR posted a series of posts which were informational, focused on raising awareness and finding solutions to the pervasive issues of harassment and cyber harassment which women deal with on a daily basis. This 16-day period was concluded on International Human Rights Day.

DRF was thrilled to be partnering with the prestigious Ministry, currently lead by Shireen Mazari, to come up with a campaign that had significant reach and impact during this period.

#16daysofactivism #Endviolenceagainstwomennow

Cyber-Harassment Helpline Turns 5!

On December 5th, 2021 the Cyber-Harassment Helpline celebrated 5 years of providing services to survivors of cyber harassment, domestic abuse and overall violence. Over the last 5 years, the Helpline has catered to 11,300 complaints by providing professional guidance, mental health assistance and legal advice.

We are proud of the efforts of our Helpline team, and hope to continue the work we are doing to deal with the rampant cyber-harassment that exists in this country, and beyond its borders, too.

Hamara Internet Second Issue Highlights the work of Women Journalists

DRF’s Hamara Internet initiative, which aims to create a space online where women can reclaim the internet through sharing blogs, vlogs and articles based around their life experiences, released its second issue. This issue focused on the trials, tribulations and experiences faced by women journalists in Pakistan as they navigate through the hate and abuse they receive online by virtue of pursuing their careers in the media.

Head over to the link to check out the revamped Hamara Internet website: https://hamarainternet.org

Human Rights Day Shed Light on Journalists and Amendments to Journalist Protection Bill

DRF concluded its 16-days of activism campaign by speaking to women journalists about the struggles they are confronted with as a result of pursuing journalism in Pakistan. This was a fitting end to the campaign and discussed the human rights violations present in the country with regard to journalism, and the progress and steps taken by the Ministry of Human Rights to provide increased protections to journalists.

Journalists we spoke with also talked about the significance of campaigns like #16Days in raising awareness about violence against women.

DRF calls on EU to Impose Sanctions on NSO Group over Pegasus Surveillance Tech

DRF was among the 86 organisations that have called on the EU to impose sanctions on the NSO group that distributes Israeli company Pegasus' surveillance tech.

Pegasus is spyware developed by the Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group that can be unknowingly installed on mobile phones operating on iOS and Android. The 2021 Pegasus software was exposed for its true purpose in the later half of 2021and its effects continued to spill over till the end of 2021, with more Rights organizations urging for calls to action.

Read the article by the Guardian here:https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/dec/03/rights-groups-urge-eu-to-ban-nso-over-clients-use-of-pegasus-spyware

DRF sets up Online Portal with IWF to report Images of Child Sexual Abuse Online

DRF has partnered with IWF to create a portal for the purpose of reporting child sexual abuse online. Child sexual abuse online through the uploading of images/videos of children is a crime and a human rights violation.

DRF has partnered with IWF to create a portal for the purpose of reporting child sexual abuse online.

Report here on our website: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/services/

@IWFhotline

Nighat Dad lobbies for “Protection Against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Bill” Amendments

Digital Rights Activist and Executive Director at DRF@nighatdad briefed the Senate Standing Committee on the relevant Human rights regarding the “Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2021”.

Training Sessions

DRF and Ministry of Human Rights Collaborate through Training

As part of the 16-days of activism campaign with MoHR, DRF’S Cyber Harassment Helpline team conducted a training session on 8th December, 2021  in Islamabad. Helpline Officers from MoHR’s Toll-free Helpline were told how DRF differentiates between cyber harassment and other forms of harassment. PECA and its use and implementation was also discussed along with a fruitful discussion around possible collaborations in the future.

Both teams shared their experiences and knowledge gained through providing services to victims of violence, whether online or offline.

Virtual Gender Sensitization Training with Journalists

DRF conducted a gender sensitization training with journalists online from across Pakistan during the 16-days of activism campaign. The session focused on how to report on gender based violence and the role and responsibility of the media while reporting such cases. The session took place on 8th December, 2021.

DRF holds Mentorship session with Saher Ghazi on Digital Media

Digital Rights Foundation conducted a mentorship session with digital media strategist and trainer Saher Ghazi on Pitching stories for Digital media. The session was attended by DRF’s Network of Women Journalists on 29th December, 2021.

Panels,Webinars and Press

Panel “Community-centric approaches to ending violence against women”

To scale up the debate around activism to end gender-based violence during 16-days of activism, UNDP in Pakistan's PunjabSDGsUnit and HomeNetPakistan jointly hosted a panel discussion on  ending #VAW and rehabilitation of victims into society, to #LeaveNoOneBehind.

Nighat Dad was invited as a speaker to discuss the issue at the panel.

Stay with us for updates!

Nighat Dad speaks at Open Government Partnership, Korea 2021.

On Dec 17th, 2021 Nighat Dad spoke at the Inclusive Digital Innovation Plenary

and highlighted the importance of understanding that safety on online spaces is not experienced uniformly across varying contexts, cultures and circumstances.

Nighat said, "For instance, women journalists are more likely to experience online violence and abuse than their male counterparts."

Nighat Dad attends UN’s Internet Governance Forum Poland, 2021

Nighat Dad spoke at the main session of #IGF2021 about regulations that are being badly framed or narrowly cover issues, this do more harm than good & we can’t come up with universal standards without addressing the imbalance of North-South regulatory approaches over content. She linked the Oversight Board of Facebook that Nighat is a part of.

Nighat Dad speaks at Panel “The Chilling Effect: Hate, Misogyny and the Digital Information Disorder”

Nighat spoke at panel “The Chilling Effect: Hate, Misogyny and the Digital Information Disorder” on December 7, 2021. The panel was about the digital space which continues to extend the promise of extraordinary opportunities for expanding the voice and agency of women, girls and marginalized groups, it has fallen short of our ideals. The panel discussed the impact of the chilling effect on the political ambitions, engagement and empowerment of women and girls, causing many not to step forward, to withdraw or to self-censor. The discussion was a @CCRInitiative.

Nighat Dad’s Lifestory Illustrated Beautifully in Comic, “Digital Rights and Feminist Futures”

Nighat Dad was featured as the central character, through which the story and origin of Digital Rights as a feminist movement in Pakistan has taken root, and evolved into a revolution for young women, girls and gender minorities around the country. The comic traces the evolution of Pakistan’s feminist digital rights movement, spearheaded by our very own, Nighat Dad.

Covid-19 Updates: Cyber Harassment Helpline

To commemorate 5 years of loyal service to survivors of cyber harassment, DRF created a video outlining the work we have done in these 5 years, along with the number and varying cases we have dealt with over the past half decade. The month was dedicated to a campaign which highlighted the work different members of the Helpline do, along with general insight and information into how we keep our Cyber Harassment Helpline running smoothly.

Watch the video here: https://twitter.com/DigitalRightsPK/status/1475472365375356932?s=20

 

 

 

 

December 11, 2021 - Comments Off on November 2021 Newsletter: DRF Hosts its 8th National Privacy Conference in Islamabad on the 24th of November, 2021.

November 2021 Newsletter: DRF Hosts its 8th National Privacy Conference in Islamabad on the 24th of November, 2021.

Events and Training Sessions

Digital Rights Foundation conducted it’s 8th annual National Data Privacy Conference on Wednesday the 24th of November, 2021 at Marriott Hotel Islamabad. The conference brought together experts from various sectors which included the Ministry of Human Rights, Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, NADRA and other relevant stakeholders.

The event started off with a keynote address from the Executive Director of DRF Nighat Dad, who stated that “the right to privacy is a fundamental right, however what that means in the digital age requires a detailed and nuanced discussion that includes all stakeholders--the state, businesses, civil society, and ordinary citizens.”

The first panel titled, “How Private is the Digital ID in Pakistan” featured Tariq Malik, Chairperson NADRA. Mr. Malik highlighted the importance of a data protection law in Pakistan to ensure standardization of data privacy practices as an important part of the “social contract between citizens and the government”.

Drafting the Data Protection Legislation: Progress and Next Step”’ was the second panel of the day, including Bilal Abassi, Director IT of the Ministry of IT and Technology and Jehan Ara, Founder and CEO of Katalyst Labs. Ms. Jahan Ara highlighted that “a strong personal data protection law needs to apply both to the public and private sector because public bodies hold large amounts of data on citizens.”

The final panel, “Privacy from a Human Rights Perspective”, was split into two parts; the first half with DRF Executive Director Nighat Dad in conversation with Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari. Minister Mazari stated that the “right to privacy is a fundamental human right, but the right needs to be balanced with other competing rights.” She went on to highlight that “privacy is even more important for women, just look at the Noor Muqadam case mainstream media aired footage that caused so much distress for her family. The second half of the panel had Usama Khilji, Director at Bolo Bhi. Mr. Khilji stressed the importance of a strong commission for privacy: “We need a privacy commission that is independent of the proposed privacy commission that is separate from the government that can hold the state and powerful actors accountable.”

The annual Conference is a banner event for the Digital Rights Foundation and this year’s event drew in as substantial and informed an audience and guest panel as ever and was covered extensively by local media.

Workshop for Journalists on Gender Sensitive Reporting

DRF held a workshop with journalists on Gender Sensitive Reporting in Mainstream Media & Digital Journalism on 3rd November. The workshop had journalists from across Pakistan who discussed why gender sensitivity is important in the media and what can be done to make it better.

Digital Well-Being and Safety Fellowship for Women Journalists

DRF held it’s very first Digital Well Being and Safety Fellowship in Lahore with women journalists from across Pakistan at Nishat Hotel. The fellowship was held on the 18th, 19th and 20th November with key modules designed specifically for journalists to train them on digital safety, legal recourse in the country and journalists mental health and well being. The training was attended by 21 women journalists from across the country.

Training Session at Learning Alliance School

DRF conducted two sessions at Learning Alliance this month. The first was a panel discussion on ‘Navigating Online Spaces’ geared towards O and A Level students, where Hyra Basit represented DRF on the panel along with Wafa Asher, ex-President of FemSoc at LUMS. The second session was held on ‘Safe Online Surfing’ with students from Grades 6-8 and was more interactive.

Panels and Webinars:

Nighat Dad speaks at panel at CWASU

Executive Director Nighat Dad was invited by the Child and Women Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU) on 5th November to speak at the #JoiningTheDots webinar on cyberspace and new technologies. She was called the 'digital warrior battling the patriarchy' at the event.

Paris Peace Forum Panel

Shmyla Khan took part in the panel “Prevent and heal: Addressing physical and digital violence against women in times of Covid-19” at the Paris Peace Forum on 12 November. She spoke about the work that the organization is doing, along with Lisa Davis (MADRE - Addressing Violence & Normalizing Equality), Heloise Onumba-Bessonnet (Responsable projet Re-Création et pôle santé, LOBA - Re-Création), Triona Pender (ActionAid Ireland - Behaviour Change to Address Inequality).

Nighat Dad speaks at Paris Peace Forum panel

Nighat Dad spoke on the virtual  panel titled “Curbing harmful content: Social media for peace” at the Paris Peace Forum on 12th November. She spoke of the need for policy makers to take local contexts into account when regulating social media in different regions.

Nighat Dad speaks about Digital Rights and Digital Citizenship at  Digital Youth Summit 2021

Nighat spoke at KPK’s Digital Youth Summit 2021 on the 13th and 14th of November about Digital Rights and Digital Citizenship, along with  Misinformation, Cyber Harassment and the need for Data Protection Laws which adequately safeguard the privacy of  users online. Our Director for Policy and Research was also a speaker at the KPDYS’21 Summit and spoke about Misinformation in the Digital Age.

Nighat Dad speaks at AJCON21 Panel, “Challenges to Human Dignity: Victim Blaming”

Nighat Dad was invited to AJCON21 on 20th November as a speaker to speak on the panel, “ Challenges to Human Dignity: Victim Blaming” in which she spoke about how provisions in the law have been weaponized to silence vulnerable victims, including human rights defenders and journalists.

Panel at Internet Governance Forum 2021

 Nighat Dad spoke at the panel  “Creating sustainable value and inclusive society -  the role of digital platforms” at #IGF21 in which she discussed the various ways in which collaboration can be used in new governance models that are human-centric and inclusive.

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF launches Digital 50.50 E-Magazine and Report on Moral Policing

DRF launched new editions of its Digital 50.50 e-magazine and report on the theme of “Moral Policing in Digital Spaces” in Pakistan. DRF conducted research on the issue of moral policing and received stories from various women regarding their experiences with moral policing and its implications. A campaign was launched on social media regarding the various perspectives of women experiencing moral policing which were reflected in their pieces for the Digital 50.50 e-magazine.

DRF Commemorates End Impunity Against Journalists Day with Online Campaign

DRF stood in solidarity for the cause of ending impunity against journalists on November 2nd and launched a campaign on social media sharing stories and reports from women  journalists who have faced threats.

Media Coverage:

Paris Peace Forum Recognition

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline was recognized by the Paris Peace Forum as one of the 80 projects around the word working to end relevant issues of our time. Members from the DRF team also spoke on panels at the Paris Peace Forum.

Appearance on Samaaj show, PTV News

Nighat Dad spoke on PTV News Samaaj show hosted by Muniba Mazari about the impact of social media on  mental health.

PTV News discussion on Illegal Surveillance

On November 26th, Nighat Dad spoke to PTV News about Israeli firm’s Pegasus Software and the lawsuit filed by Apple regarding the state backed surveillance and unlawful use of Apple users information used by the NSO cyber firm group.

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In November, DRF received a total of 264 complaints, with 64% of complaints being registered by women. The trend of women experiencing and reporting a greater number of complaints related to cyber harassment and cyber crime has continued.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393.

You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

IWF Portal: DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu and Pashto.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

November 10, 2021 - Comments Off on October Newsletter 2021: Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

October Newsletter 2021: Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

Policy Initiatives and Online Campaigns:

Launch of Hamara Internet Website: A Digital Safe Space for Women

DRF launched the Hamara Internet website on the International Day of the Girl Child. The website aims to make the Internet a safe space that is inclusive of women belonging to all walks of life.  The website showcases stories, vlogs and blogs from women journalists across Pakistan, and delves into topics relating to gender and technology.

To find out more visit our website below:

www.hamarainternet.org

Campaign on International Day of the Girl Child

DRF conducted a social media campaign on 11th October which marks International Day of the Girl Child. DRF focused on the importance of equal access to technology for girls and women as a crucial factor in ensuring that they can acquire knowledge and information in order to participate in different spheres of life sufficiently.

 

Stakeholders' Consultation on Exercising Constitutional Freedoms Online in Pakistan

DRF’s legal team participated in the Stakeholders’ Consultation on the topic “Exercising Constitutional Freedoms Online: Prospects and Challenges” on October 9th, 2021. The meeting was organized by the Punjab Bar Council (PBC), Common Laws Company (CLC) and the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA).

The purpose of the consultation was to comprehend the issues and concerns of stakeholders, particularly journalists and human rights defenders in exercising fundamental constitutional freedoms in the online sphere in Pakistan.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber security awareness month was observed by raising awareness about key Digital Rights issues such as encryption and the importance of a free and accessible internet for all. DRF’s campaigns were geared towards educating followers about the importance of privacy and accessibility of information online while also celebrating the advantages of the Digital Age.

Events and Training Sessions:

DRF members conduct workshop for Students on Cyber Safety at Skill Share Week

DRF was invited to NGO Hamara Mustaqbil’s skill share week to conduct a workshop on Cyber Safety for students of O-Levels, A’-Levels and Matriculation. The workshop was held on 1st October and was geared towards equipping students with the knowledge related to safeguarding their privacy online and operating responsibly in the digital sphere.

Workshop on Cyber Crimes for Media Matters for Democracy (MMFD)

DRF conducted a workshop for female media professionals on cybercrimes and the important provisions present in the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA) that were relevant to such crimes.

Session on Understanding Online Safety

DRF conducted an online session on digital safety and security for media professionals on October 13th, 2021. Participants were introduced to potential cyber concerns and were given tips to secure their online presence as well as sensitive data.

Session on digital safety for women at Dastak Shelter Home

DRF conducted a digital safety and awareness session with women at Dastak shelter home on October 20th, appraising them to digital safety practices and practical tips they can use in their daily lives.

Pakistan’s Legal landscape and Media Law

DRF conducted a workshop for media professionals on October 20th based on understanding Pakistan’s legal landscape and the impact it has on their work in both online and offline spaces.

Training Session at Government College for Women, Lahore

DRF conducted an informative session on cyber harassment and privacy online at Government College for Women, Lahore on October 22nd. Nighat Dad spoke to the young women students about the importance of consent and keeping one’s data safe online. The session included discussions about harassment and how power dynamics are involved when an individual is being targeted online.

Network Engagement Program

DRF organized a one-day digital security training workshop for gender minorities in Lahore on 22nd October, 2021. Twenty-three members from the transgender community participated in the workshop and shared their unfiltered experiences regarding cyber harassment with the group. The session highlighted the by-laws and policy initiatives that were present to safeguard the rights of Pakistani citizens. Tips and detailed information relating to securing personal data was shared with the participants.  Using social media as a tool for advocacy and strategic capacity building was also discussed with the group.

Panel on Digital Disruption of Human Rights by Women in Law

DRF’s Director of Legal Affairs participated in a panel discussion on data protection which was hosted by the Women in Law Initiative, Islamabad Chapter in collaboration with the Ananke Girl Summit. A critical discussion was carried out regarding the Personal Data Protection Bill, and the impact this bill would have on the privacy of individuals online.

Media Coverage

Nighat Dad’s accomplishments in Digital Rights recognized by Ted Fellows Program

Our Executive Director was recognized by the prestigious Ted Fellows Program for her work in fighting against cyber harassment targeted at women and gender minorities. The efforts made by DRF to equip women with the resources and knowledge they require in order to take advantage of the internet were highlighted.

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

In October, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 292 complaints, with a majority of complaints being reported by females. These included 11 instances of domestic violence and physical harassment.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

Ab Aur Nahin: Since the start of COVID-19, domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. DRF has relaunched its Ab Aur Nahin initiative which is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse. Please contact us if you require assistance, free of charge.

Link can  be found here: www.abaurnahin.pk

IWF Portal: DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu and Pashto.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

 

October 7, 2021 - Comments Off on September 2021 Newsletter: Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 576 complaints

September 2021 Newsletter: Cyber Harassment Helpline receives 576 complaints

Policy Initiatives:

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline Statistics, August 2021

The Cyber Harassment Helpline reported receiving 576 complaints in the month of August, with 402 of these complaints being registered by women. A substantial number of complaints (241 in total) were related to varying forms of blackmail as well as the non-consensual use of information by perpetrators online.
These statistics highlight the prevalence of gender-based violence which women face online in Pakistan daily.

Our Helpline is dedicated to assisting victims of cyber harassment by providing support in the form of digital safety guidance, legal aid, and mental health assistance.

You can reach us at 0800-39393, 5 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm.

Submission of comments to Ministry for Personal Data Protection Bill 2021

DRF provided a series of comments and suggestions to the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MoITT) on its Personal Data Protection Bill of 2021, which is the fourth draft of the Bill released since 2018.

The official document by DRF can be found here:
https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/PDPB-2021-Submission-by-DRF.pdf

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF is all set to relaunch its Hamara Internet website

#HamaraInternetKyaHai

The website will feature insightful contributions from women journalists and writers focused on digital rights, gender and technology. New content such as blogs, vlogs and articles will serve as engaging content for our audiences.

DRF launches surveys  on Virtual Learning and Disinformation during the Covid-19 Pandemic

DRF is conducting research on the effects that Covid-19 has had on learning in schools with a focus on the shift  to virtual learning and the outcome this has had. There is also research being conducted on the role that fake news and disinformation have played in providing information to the public regarding crucial issues such as vaccination.

Events and Training Sessions

Retreat for Women Journalists for Digital Rights in Nathia Gali

DRF hosted a residency retreat for Women Journalists from across Pakistan in Nathia Gali from the 10th - 14th of  September. The retreat involved a number of activities geared towards encouraging journalists to inculcate self-care and well-being practices into their daily lives to be able to manage daily stressors better. These involved reinvigorating yoga sessions along with team building exercises such as campfire stories which really allowed the attendees to unwind and bond with each other. It also served as a wonderful opportunity for the journalists to network and create an avenue  of collectivized support which was accessible and effective.

Nighat Dad spoke on the panel “Does One Size Fit All? Regulating Content in the Digital Age”

Nighat participated as a guest speaker in the webinar centered around challenges that governments face in regulating digital content on the internet. The online event was  hosted by Quaid-i-Azam University in collaboration with BowerGroupAsia, a strategic advisory firm focusing on Asia-Pacific.

Digital Safety Training Session for Women Reporters at the Tribal News Network

Our Digital Safety Trainer Danish held a training session for women reporters organized by TNN on September 20th  in which he provided useful information regarding how one can keep themselves and their data safe while using online platforms.

Consultation Event by Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project

DRF attended a Consultation session on the 21st and 22nd of September at Pearl Continental, Lahore to discuss the vision and priorities of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW). The event was organized by Huqooq-e-Pakistan Project, a joint initiative by the European Union and the Ministry of Human Right in Pakistan. DRF engaged in relevant discussions with the panel and provided recommendations for the NCSW.

“Defending Rights and Challenging Discourse”  Event

Our Executive Director Nighat Dad and Director for Research and Policy, Shmyla Khan attended the Jinnah Institute’s Womansplaining Writer’s Conversation on 27th September, 2021. The panel was hosted by Zahid Rehman, with Rimmel Mohyudin also participating. DRF has contributed towards the Womansplaining book by writing a chapter in it. The book has been edited by Senator Sherry Rehman this year.

You can find the conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiuLNkx6yG0

Media Coverage:

Nighat Dad meets with young women journalists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Nighat Dad, along with Marium Chaudry (founder of The Current) met with a group of young women journalists from KPK through an event organized  by the Tribal News Network (TNN) in collaboration with Thomson Foundation. Nighat spoke to the women about her experience working in Digital Rights and how she had gotten to where she was, including the obstacles she faced along the way. The session proved to be inspirational and insightful for the young women who were attending.

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on the Samaa TV Morning Show

Nighat spoke to Samaa TV on Friday, 17th September about the importance of digital literacy regarding social media content that is malicious and classifies as defamation according to the law. She also spoke about the need for ethical journalism and for social media organizations to take  more responsibility in filtering out content that thrives on false information discrimination on their platforms.

Blog post on “Digital and Social Transformations in Pakistan During Covid-19”

DRF’s summer intern worked alongside our Research and Policy team to produce a survey to assess the impact of increased digitization across Pakistan due to the pandemic, and the digital and social transformations that have occurred as a result.

Read the blog here: https://digitalrightsfoundation.pk/digital-and-social-transformations-in-pakistan-during-covid-19/

Covid-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Friday, from 9AM to 5PM. The occurrence of harassment, both online and offline have significantly increased during Covid-19 and our Helpline team is committed to providing victims with the guidance they need to navigate through such difficult situations.

If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

Ab Aur Nahin: In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse.

Link can  be found here: www.abaurnahin.pk

IWF Portal: DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu and Pashto.

www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk

September 17, 2021 - Comments Off on June, July and August 2021 Newsletter: DRF launches Digital 50.50 on Online Freedom of Assembly and Association

June, July and August 2021 Newsletter: DRF launches Digital 50.50 on Online Freedom of Assembly and Association

Online Campaigns and Initiatives:

DRF launches Digital 50.50 on Online Freedom of Assembly and Association

DRF launched it's second last edition of Digital 50.50 on August 23. It was focused on online freedom of assembly and association. As the world retreated inside the homes during the Coronavirus lockdown in 2020, protests were still held in both online spaces and the streets across the world. This reminded us of the importance of freedom of assembly and association as fundamental human rights and essential requirements for a functioning democracy. Journalists from both Urdu and English media shared their thoughts and words with us on some interesting aspects around the theme.

Link to magazine: https://www.canva.com/design/DAEmriH0G7Y/dfnTz_2bRDrVaqIvZq5MYA/view
Some ways you can secure your snapchat

DRF’s cyber harassment helpline has been seeing an increasing number of calls about people having their Snapchat accounts hacked. It's always a good time to remind ourselves of some of the basics of being safe online. We must always be mindful of our digital safety, given how frequent hacks are becoming.

Blame the criminal, not the victim


DRF shared a series of posts highlighting the importance of accountability in the current situation of physical, verbal and emotional attacks on women. The ongoing femicide in the country is quite distressing and in case of help individuals can reach out to the Cyber Harassment Helpline.

 

Digital 50.50 edition on ‘Loving Yourself in the Era of Trolling’

DRF launched the Digital 50.50 edition, "Loving Yourself In The Era Of Trolling" issue which is packed full of powerful writing from womxn all across Pakistan who have had to deal with immense trolling for simply existing online.

Read the full magazine here:

https://canva.com/design/DAEiAMh5ItM/1je9A13SXImSCLKtBmt-UA/view

Cyber Harassment Helpline’s campaign on key digital rights issues

 

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline in June shared a series of posts around cyber bullying, harassment, digital safety and infomatic posts around how to file a complaint with the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA).

Policy Initiatives:

Policy Brief on #AttacksWontSilenceUs - One year on

Last year, amid rising digital attacks against women journalists, we issued a statement signed by more than 150 women journalists and activists.

To evaluate where we stand a year later, we've launched a new policy brief. Read here: https://bit.ly/2VJeNGt

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics for July 2021

In July, the Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 712 complaints, bringing a 54% increase in cases since June. Due to recent incidents and the spotlight on gender based violence, there has been a surge in awareness and resources being shared for the benefit of the public.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics for June 2021

According to DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics in the month of June 2021, there was  an almost 40% increase in complaints compared to the previous month of May, 2021. This rise brought to light how much further we all have to go to work towards an equal and safe internet for all.

DRF’s study on Young People and Privacy in Online Spaces


DRF launched a study in June titled, "Young People & Privacy". The study looks at how young Pakistani teens interact with digital spaces and understand the concept of privacy.

You can read the entire study here: https://bit.ly/3wTeC8B

 

#PrivacyHumSabKeLiye

 

The Network of Women Journalists statement condemning the petition registered in Gujranwala for treason cases against notable Pakistani journalists

DRF’s Network of Women Journalists on Digital Rights released a statement in June condemning the petition registered in Gujranwala for treason cases against notable Pakistani journalists Hamid Mir and Asma Shirazi.

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline statistics for May 2021

For the month of May 2021, our Cyber Harassment Helpline received a total of 336 complaints.

Media Coverage:

Afghan people face an impossible choice over their digital footprint

Nighat Dad penned down the aftermath that the Afghan people face over their digital footprint.

Read the full piece here:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2287409-afghan-people-face-an-impossible-choice-over-their-digital-footprint/

Nighat Dad on 92 News about the digital gender divide

Nighat Dad spoke on Subh Savary Pakistan of 92 News regarding the digital gender divide in the country.

Link to interview: https://twitter.com/SubhSavarayPk/status/1427556824010665988?s=20

Nighat Dad spoke on PTV on gender based violence

DRF’s Nighat Dad on 16th August spoke on PTV World on gender based violence and how there is a need for more accountability to make safe spaces for women and gendered minorities.

Link to interview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=RuPijVRTu4Q&ab_channel=PTVWorld

Nighat Dad mentioned in Pride of Pakistan

This independence day Nighat Dad was mentioned in the Pride of Pakistan piece by the news.

Read the full piece here:

https://www.thenews.com.pk/magazine/you/867898-pride-of-pakistan

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke to Dawn News about the domestic violence bill

DRF’s Nighat Dad spoke on Dawn News on the domestic violence bill and why there is a need for such a bill.

Link to interview:

https://twitter.com/newseyeofficial/status/1412436814439215112?s=20

Events and Sessions:

Understanding the Legal Landscape and Media Law - 27th August

DRF, in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited conducted the first of its series of training based on media law for journalists on the 27th of August. The training was attended by both Urdu and English media and many journalists expressed interest in joining refreshers of the same. It covered Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and defamation laws among others.

WISE - Women in Struggle for Empowerment Seminar on The Role of Helplines in Countering Gender Based Violence - 25th August

The Cyber Harassment Helpline took part in a seminar organized by WISE on the role of helplines in working to assist in cases of gender based violence. The Helpline team shared the services it provides, how people can report instances of cyber crime to designated law enforcement authorities and what precautionary measures they can take in order to make themselves more secure online.

Workshop for Gender Minorities, Multan - 24th and 25th August:

DRF organized a two-day workshop for Gender minorities in Multan and the session aimed to create awareness among the Transgender community regarding the legal landscape that governs digital platforms, how to secure personal data and to avoid dangerous practices online that may put the Transgender community at risk.

A cyber-harassment awareness session was also conducted among the participants in which they were provided guidance on how to deal with harassment issues online during COVID-19. They were informed about how to reach out to DRF’s helpline if necessary. Helpline brochures and books were distributed amongst the participants along with hand sanitizers and face masks.

Online Training Session - Digital Safety in the Context of Advocacy movements and Human Rights - 19th August

An online training session regarding digital security within the context of advocacy movements and human rights was conducted.

This session focused on human rights defenders, specifically those belonging to minority communities, and how they can navigate through online spaces safely. Zanaya Chaudhry, a transgender activist, discussed the importance of managing online interactions, and the consequences minority communities faced when being drawn into controversial and potentially harmful online discourses. Zanaya shared a touching message with the participants regarding her personal experiences dealing with marginalization along with the challenges she had to face in order to achieve her objectives.

Nighat Dad spoke on panel ‘Why do we need a world where we control the internet?’

On 15th August Nighat Dad took part in a panel titled, ‘Why do we need a world where we control the internet?’ In the session she highlighted that the internet needs to be a safe space where nobody’s digital identity is threatened.

Nighat Dad  session on Violence Against Women: Challenges, Reform and the Pandemic

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in the webinar ‘Violence Against Women: Challenges, Reform and the Pandemic’ on 19th July at SDPI. The session had renowned speakers discussing the ongoing femicide and the need for reform, especially during the pandemic.

DRF conducted an online training on gender sensitive reporting in mainstream and digital media

On 16th July, DRF hosted an online training with journalists from across the country on gender sensitive reporting. The training included components on understanding the changing terminology around gender, examples of biased news reports and guidelines on reporting in a gender sensitive manner. It also focused and how newsrooms can be sensitized towards being more gender-inclusive.

DRF conducted a training session on ensuring online safety for it's network of journalists on 12th July

The workshop was conducted via zoom considering the Covid situation. It was attended by journalists from digital and mainstream media across the country.

Nighat Dad on Unlock the Freedom with Tauseeq Haider

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s web-series ‘Unlock Freedom’ with Tauseeq Haider on 10th July. The session focused on internet freedom and digital rights in the country.

DRF on the launch of ‘Algorithmic Decision-Making in Pakistan: A challenge to Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination’

DRF’s Shmyla Khan took part in the Centre for Human Rights’ report launch on "Algorithmic Decision-Making in Pakistan: A Challenge to Right to Equality & Non-Discrimination” on 9th July 2021.

DRF conducted two sessions on Misinformation and Fake News in times of COVID19

DRF conducted sessions on the 6th and 8th of July with journalists and civil society on Misinformation and Fake News in times of COVID19. The session was conducted with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

Protecting your gatherings online: digitally-mediated assemblies and international law

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in the session ‘Protecting your gatherings online: digitally-mediated assemblies and international law’ at RightsCon on July 7th. In the session our ED highlighted how policies made in the west have a ripple effect across the globe which is why policies should be thorough and fair.

DRF at #BalochistanYoungGirlsSummerCamp2021

DRF’s Nighat Dad held a session with #BalochistanYoungGirlsSummerCamp2021 on 29th June highlighting the importance of privacy online and also the importance of reclaiming online spaces and filing a complaint of online violence.

DRF conducted a webinar on the report launch of ‘Young People and Privacy in Digital Spaces’

DRF conducted a webinar on account of the report launch titled, ‘Young People and Privacy in Digital Spaces’ on 25th June. The team who worked on the report participated in the event and highlighted their findings in the report.

DRF conducted a session on 'bringing feminism to digital and mainstream media' on 18th June in Islamabad

The session was held in collaboration with Free Press Unlimited. It was attended by journalists from Urdu and English media. The topics covered included understanding the terminology of gender, reflecting on why the media is gender insensitive and guidelines to report in a gender sensitive manner.

DRF on Platform Futures session on Mobile Ecosystems: Opportunities and Challenges in the Asia-Pacific region

DRF participated in the session Mobile Ecosystems: Opportunities and Challenges in the Asia-Pacific region on 11th June. Nighat Dad of DRF took part in the discussion around platforms, access, markets, equity and Tiktok.

Listen to the full session here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=160iBtfVBfA

RightsCon session on Amplifying the human impact of internet shutdowns - why it matters

Nighat Dad spoke on RightsCon on the session ‘Amplifying the human impact of internet shutdowns- why it matters’ on 11th June. The session highlighted how internet shutdowns have an adverse impact on human lives and how the internet now is a fundamental human right.

DRF at Article 19’s session on how civil society carves out space for change in South & Southeast Asia

DRF participated in RightsCon from 7th till 11th June and took part in Article 19’s session on how civil society carves out space for change in South & Southeast Asia. The session focused on how solidarity is important in a shrinking media environment in South and Southeast Asia.

Gender and Disinformation: Towards a Gender-Based Approach for Researchers, Activists and Allies

DRF, along with EU Disinfo Lab, co-hosted a Community Lab at RightsCon  titled: Gender and disinformation: towards a gender-based approach for researchers, activists, and allies on 10th June. Through an interactive discussion led by six facilitators, they explored the intersections of gender and disinformation in relation to conflict, political participation, activism, gender-based violence.

Asia Pacific Social Hour

DRF participated at RightsCon social hour on 10th June which was a relaxed discussion around the digital rights movement and how art and humor can be used to promote digital rights.

Digital Security: Perspective from the Margins in Asia

DRF’s Shmyla Khan participated in the RightsCon session on ‘Digital Security: Perspective from the Margins in Asia’ on 9th June which was hosted by Body and Data. Shmyla Khan highlighted how security needs to be redefined and broadened in the digital space. There was also a discussion around how there should be a wider debate around mental health and well being.

Gendered disinformation: How should democracies respond to this threat?

DRF’s Shmyla Khan spoke in the session ‘gendered disinformation: How should democracies respond to this threat?’ by Heinrich Böll Stiftung on 9th June. The event focused on how to improve responses to gendered disinformation online and what platforms can do to help.

Details of the session: https://calendar.boell.de/en/gendered-disinformation

Voicing the shutdowns #LetTheNetWork

DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in the RightsCon session ‘Voicing the shutdowns’ on 8th June 2021. In the session a much needed debate around internet shutdowns across the globe and strategies around it took place.

Silencing the silenced? The impact of takedown legislation on civil liberties and victims of human rights abuses

DRF’s Executive Director participated in the RightsCon session ‘Silencing the silenced? The impact of takedown legislation on civil liberties and victims of human rights abuses on 8th June. The session highlighted the impact of takedown laws on civil liberties and human rights abuses across the globe.

COVID-19 Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

DRF’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is open and available Monday to Sunday, from 9AM to 5PM. If you or someone you know is being harassed, bullied, or threatened online, please reach out to our Helpline at 0800-39393. You can even send us a DM on any of our social media platforms. You don't have to suffer in silence!

Ab Aur Nahin: In times of COVID19 domestic abuse is at an all time high where victims do not have anywhere to go. Ab Aur Nahin is a confidential legal and counselor support service specifically designed for victims of harassment and abuse. www.abaurnahin.pk

IWF Portal: DRF in collaboration with Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Global Fund to End Violence Against Children launched a portal to combat children’s online safety in Pakistan. The new portal allows internet users in Pakistan to anonymously report child sexual abuse material in three different languages- English, Urdu and Pashto. www.report.iwf.org.uk/pk