The Bangladesh component of the project ‘Online freedom for all = No unfreedom for women’ will be anchored by ARTICLE 19 Bangladesh.
ARTICLE 19 has been one most prominent advocates of freedom of online expression and the protection of bloggers and internet activists in Bangladesh.Their Annual Freedom of Expression Reports have consistently highlighted gender based discrimination and violations against journalists off-line and emerging patterns of gender based violence online. Their previous research on this issue has corroborated the fact that online gender based harassment and bullying are on the rise. However the law in Bangladesh has been able to provide little succour. Instead, gaps in existing laws and patriarchal attitude within the criminal justice agencies have lead to further victimisation and harassment.The government of Bangladesh has taken many measures to reach the benefits of ICTs to the masses, and consequently, more and more women are using the Internet. However, the prevalence of gender based harassment online impedes the emergence of empowering use-cultures.
As part of this project, ARTICLE 19 Bangladesh will conduct a country level assessment of existing laws, policies, and institutional responses to technology-mediated violence against women. A national- level policy round-table will be convened in Bangladesh to initiate a dialogue with women’s rights activists, digital rights activists, legal scholars and practitioners and government representatives from concerned government agencies – women’s ministry, IT Ministry, law enforcement agencies, and the judiciary. The country level assessment will be presented and discussed at the round-table.