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October 17, 2023 - Comments Off on September 2023 Newsletter: DRF celebrates seven years of resilient voices in the media

September 2023 Newsletter: DRF celebrates seven years of resilient voices in the media


DRF celebrated it’s conference on seven years of resilient voices in the media in Islamabad on 15 September 2023 which marked the celebration of DRF's engagement with the media community, particularly women journalists. The conference brought together journalists, civil society, government representatives, and other stakeholders to discuss the state of media and the challenges that women journalists face in the country and celebrate their achievements despite the difficult circumstances they face working in the field. The conference had an exciting line-up of three panels to delve into DRF’s engagement with the journalist community in Pakistan and showcased an art exhibition of hand-drawn illustrations from DRF’s e-magazine, Digital 50.50.

Press Coverage for the event:

The Friday Times

Sehrish Khan Pakistan

Bunjaarun - Youtube Channel


The Nation

 The News International

Associated Press of Pakistan

Daily Times

Urdu Point

Online Campaigns:

In Collaboration with Coalition Against Online Violence

DRF with the support of Coalition Against Online Violence (CAOV), produced 6 animated videos, arranged a play and developed a comic book to highlight the lived experiences of the most marginalized people in Pakistan. Keep a lookout on our campaign with the hashtag #SaanjhiKahaniyan.

Identity Crisis: Roadblocks In Women's Access To Basic Id Documentation In Pakistan |

To mark Identity Day 2023, DRF highlighted this article written by our Program Manager, Zainab Durrani and it talks about the discrimination by public service departments from a gendered and intersectional approach particularly in the case of accessing digital and passport ID for women in Pakistan.
Read it here.

Did you know? | Social Media Public Service Announcements Series

DRF has started on an online campaign on ‘Did You Know?’, to create mass awareness regarding the digital landscape in Pakistan and the rights afforded under it. It started as a part of The International Day for Universal Access to Information.

Press Coverage:

Nighat Dad on Bol News Network about weaponization of CCTV in educational institutes

DRF's Executive Director, Nighat Dad appeared on Bol News Network at the start of September 2023, to shed light on the weaponization of CCTV cameras in educational institutes. She emphasized on the lack of regulation, accountability & oversight regarding the use of CCTV cameras in schools & universities in Pakistan.

Nighat Dad explains how public comments play a vital role in making decisions by the Oversight Board | Oversight Board Twitter
Pakistan: Groups win some concessions, but new laws threaten free speech | IFEX

The article provides a round-up of events related to free expression in Asia-Pacific in August 2023. It highlights the worsening repression in Afghanistan under Taliban rule, with a significant impact on media outlets and women's rights. Digital Rights Foundation was mentioned as an IFEX member and our analysis of the data protection bill was quoted.

Ahead of election, Pakistan introduces new laws to stifle dissent | Global Voices

Digital Rights Foundation was mentioned in this article because we raised concerns and provided recommendations regarding the Data Protection Bill, particularly emphasizing issues related to data localization and the independence of the proposed Commission, fearing they might infringe on digital rights and hamper the free flow of information.

Digital detox: Making internet safer for all age groups in Pakistan | Dunya News

DRF’s work was highlighted in the piece Digital Detox: Making Internet Safer for all age groups in Pakistan in Dunya News. The piece discusses the challenges of e-security and cyberbullying in Pakistan particularly in reporting and addressing issues faced by women. There is a need for strengthening laws and increasing awareness to create a secure and inclusive social media environment in Pakistan.

Youth at risk: cyberbullying epidemic grips Pakistan | Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) (Digital)

The Digital Rights Foundation (DRF)’s Cyber Harassment Helpline is highlighted in this article as its data showcases the prevalence of cyber harassment, with a majority of victims falling in the youth sector. To address these issues, there is a call for strengthening laws and increasing awareness to create a secure and inclusive online environment in Pakistan.

The Nation

The Express Tribune
Explainer: What’s the debate over the wages paid to junior lawyers by law firms? | Dawn News

The article discusses the ongoing debate among junior lawyers in Pakistan about insufficient remuneration, especially for those working in law firms that primarily practice litigation. The issue was brought to attention during a panel discussion and has led to discussions about low pay, discrimination against female lawyers, and the lack of formal regulations in the legal profession. Various lawyers and experts have weighed in on the matter, highlighting the challenges faced by junior lawyers and the need for standardization and better compensation policies. Nighat Dad was quoted in this article.


Concordia Annual Summit | A Global Guideline for Digital Information

Nighat Dad, Executive Director of DRF, spoke at the Global Guideline for Digital Information event on 19th September during the 13th session of the Concordia Annual Summit, a leading public-private sector forum held alongside the UN General Assembly. Nighat spoke about examining how misinformation threatens democracy and development and what can be done to address it.

Berkman Klein Center - Harvard University | Now & Next: Platform Accountability and Content Governance - Oversight Board Mock Deliberation

At the Berkman Klein Center - Harvard University, DRF’s Nighat Dad participated in a live deliberation on 22nd September of the cases Oversight Board receives and examined the challenges and successes the board has faced in its first three years.

NIC Peshawar | Safeguarding Women against Online Abuse and Cyber Crime

The session on ‘Safeguarding Women against Online Abuse and Cyber Crime’ was conducted by Digital Rights Foundation’s Communication Manager and Digital Security Trainer in NIC Peshawar on 5th September, 2023. The training's goal was to provide an overview of digital safety awareness as well as knowledge of combating online abuse and cyber crime. The audience consisted of Peshawar women from various sociocultural backgrounds.

Leadership Institute CHANAN


On September 17th, DRF's Digital Security Trainer conducted a training workshop for participants from across Pakistan on Digital Safety and Security for Human Rights Defenders.
The workshop covered the holistic security approach for civil society organizations in order to protect both offline and online spaces.

Driving National Action against Child Sexual Abuse Online Using the Model National Response - the Experience of Indonesia

DRF attended the webinar organized by UNICEF in collaboration with WeProtect Global Alliance on Malaysia’s experience in implementation of the Model National Response (MNR). MNR was introduced in 2015 and used by many countries across the world to deal with online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Experiences and challenges on implementation, call to action and updates on MNR were shared with attendees.

Landscape of Hope (LoH) Meeting

DRF’s Programs Lead Seerat Khan attended the network meeting of landscape of hope (LoH) from 6th to 8th September 2023 in Beirut Lebanon. The meeting brought together organizations from across the globe majority in an annual meeting focusing on making cross collaborations and strengthening the network across the region.

Gender Sensitive Election Campaigns One Day Workshop with Simourgh

DRF conducted one day workshops on gender sensitive election campaigns on 20th and 21st September with political workers in collaboration with Simourgh Women’s Resource and Publication Centre. The workshop highlighted the importance of a gender sensitive approach in campaigning during the upcoming elections and have a human rights based manifestos.

HIVE Fellows visit DRF | Collaborative Meeting on rights of a marginalized community and combating extremism

Fellows from HIVE, a Pakistani social-impact organization dedicated to addressing extremism and marginalization through community-led efforts and collaboration, met with DRF team on  21st September 2023 to discuss shared research interests and their mutual commitment to uplifting marginalized communities in pursuit of inclusivity, equality, and peace in Pakistan.

Source Verification and Fact-checking workshop for Journalists during Elections held in Karachi

DRF and CEJ conducted a session on source verification and fact-checking in Karachi with the support of Meta keeping in mind the upcoming general elections. The two day workshop addressed the emergence of disinformation and misinformation during elections and how to tackle and report dis/misinformation during this time.

Driving national action against child sexual abuse online using the Model National Response webinar

DRF attended a webinar on Driving national action against child sexual abuse online using the Model National Response webinar. Ms.Anmol and Ms. Asma attended the webinar. In this webinar, speakers explored how Indonesia uses the  Model National Response in their response against child sexual exploitation and abuse online, the challenges they have encountered, and the lessons they have learned.

Webinar: State of Pakistan’s Digital Democracy


This year on the 14th of September, DRF hosted a webinar to commemorate the International Day of Democracy with legal, policy, media and human rights experts to discuss the latest developments in Pakistan that are undermining basic democratic freedoms, especially in the context of internet rights.

We were joined by noted journalist Afia Salam, Legal Counsel Human Rights Watch (Asia) Saroop Ijaz and CEO and Founder of Katalyst Labs, Jehan Ara. The session was moderated by Senior Program Manager Zainab Durrani.

 The panel discussed the recent onslaught of legislative and policy changes looking to overhaul the digital landscape in the country and summarize the impact it is having on most of Pakistan’s citizens, industries and human rights movements. Their valuable insights provided much needed context to the equation and also put forward clear policy points on how to mitigate the effects of such spirited attempts at overregulation.

The live talk can be viewed here.

Women Journalists' Collective Well-being Residency Retreat

Digital Rights Foundation held its annual residency for women journalists from 16-18 September 2023. The Residency is a space where women journalists create and nurture personal and professional bonds which are long lasting and help them in their professional career. The Residency had a line-up of sessions over two days focused on networking, online safety skills and story pitching.

DRF Updates:

Cyber Harassment Helpline

The Cyber Harassment Helpline received 185 complaints in total September, with 122 complaints by women. If you’re encountering a problem online, you can reach out to our helpline at 0800-39393, email us at [email protected] or reach out to us on our social media accounts.

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.

Published by: Digital Rights Foundation in Newsletter

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