The national capital witnessed the launch of Online Safety Summit for Women by SheThePeople.TV on 8 August at the Taj Hotel, Mansingh Road. The summit which aims to bring forward and discuss solutions of the increased online breaches and sexual harassment of women through online portals is supported by Facebook, Colors, and SafeCity.

 The summit highlighting the noting risks of identity exploitations, financial risks, emotional harassment, awareness, policy and law enforcement was inaugurated by Shaili Chopra, Founder of SheThePeople.TV. Other key speakers at the event were-Mahima Kaul (Head- Public Policy & Government, Twitter), Sunita Mohanty (Site Head, India, Trust & Safety, Google), Prasanto Roy (Vice President & Head, Internet, Mobile and E-commerce Council, Nasscom), Subho Ray (President, IAMAI), Ranjana Kumari (Director, CSR), Monica Jasuja (Head of Digital Payments, India and South Asia, MasterCard), Kiran Manral (Author), Karuna Nundy (Advocate), Namita Bhandare (Journalist) and  Anja Kovacs (Director, Internet Democracy Project). Vandita Morarka (Policy, Legal and UN Liasion Officer at SafeCity) moderated some of the panel discussions at the summit. 

Chopra during the event said, “Online Safety Summit for Women powered by SheThePeople.TV is an attempt to get all stakeholders together and explore a consolidated approach for the safety of women from the trolls, eve teasing, stalking and other crimes aimed at them at online portals.  It is a scaled effort to bring to light the experiences, lessons of varied organizations and make the women better prepared for the dangers lie hidden in the future of the online world.”

Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director, Facebook -India, South & Central Asia said, “The internet is the invisible force driving advancement for women in India. It opens up economic opportunities, helps with education and gives women a voice.  We want to help women in India capitalize on this opportunity and help keep them safe while doing so. We have policies which prohibit bullying, impersonation, harassment and hate speech; products which are designed to help prevent abuse and help those in need; and we work with a variety of non-profits to deliver safety educations programs across the country.  We believe that by working together, through organizations like SheThePeople, we can have a greater impact on helping women in India stay safe online.”

 After the inauguration, the summit started with a panel discussion on “The Social Safety Network” with panelists Mahima Kaul, Sunita Mohanty and Shaili Chopra on board. The session threw light on how popular consumer platforms like FB, Twitter, and Google are fixing the safety challenges faced by a country like India.

The second session “The Issue of Access” included Prasanto Roy, Ranjana Kumari, and Monika Jasuja as the key speakers. In this session, panelists discussed about how to cope-up with the problems of gendered access regarding financial/affordability, language, normative values, connectivity, information gaps, etc.

 This was followed by the session on “The importance of Counter-Speech” with Kiran Manral, Karuna Nundy, Namita Bhandare, Anja Kovacs and Anshul Tewari on the panel. In this session, the panelists raised voice against the hate comments on online portals and acknowledged the power of positive speech in countering and defeating the same.

The concluding session “Responsible Rule Making on the Internet” had Smita Prakash, Rifat Jawaid, Supreet K Singh, Karnika Seth and Vandita Morarka on board. In this session, they threw light on the ways with which networks are manipulating what we see and read and end up making significant decisions based on the information available on online portals. The action packed summit ended on a lighter note with high tea.


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