In a joint statement, the two Commissioners said that "dignity, respect and solidarity apply to all of us, also online. Yet, sadly, reality is far from this, especially for women and girls, who are 27 times more likely to be harassed online than men are. It is time to step up the response to online violence. We cannot stay idle and encourage those that cowardly target women and girls online. We have to act and call it out" (read the full statement on the European Commission's website).
Indeed, women experience gender-specific online violence, whether it is through social media, messaging apps, online forums, video-sharing websites, or video games. This can lead to psychological, physical, sexual and economic harm. It also prompts numerous women to limit their online activities. This self-censorship, in turn, restricts women's participation in societal debates, their influence in politics, and undermines representative democratic processes.
For more information, download the #DigitalRespect4Her factsheet, available in all 24 European languages, and read a series of eye-opening testimonies from female public figures who deal or have dealt with gender-based online violence. Additionally, please keep an eye on the BIK portal for an upcoming series of articles on young girls' rights in the digital era.
To support the #DigitalRespect4Her campaign, feel free to add a Twibbon badge to your social media profiles, follow the accounts of Commissioner Gabriel and Commissioner Jourová, and share your story and support the campaign on social media by using #DigitalRespect4Her.
Please note: the testimonies are to be communicated by the authors in their own name. They do not constitute an opinion of the European Commission nor endorsement by the European Commission.