For more than 100 years, Zonta International has contributed to help achieve a world free of violence against women through service and advocacy. Our ongoing advocacy is built around the annual ZONTA SAYS NO campaign, raising awareness of the global pandemic of violence against women. We envision a world where no woman or girl lives in fear of violence.
In this respect, we are dedicating this year's campaign to eliminating cyber violence. Cyber violence is an increasing problem worldwide and it is too often gender-based. It can take many forms, ranging from harassment and revenge porn, to threats of rape, sexual assault or even murder. Perpetrators can be partners, ex-partners, colleagues, schoolmates or, as is often the case, anonymous individuals.
Cyber violence affects women and girls disproportionately, not only causing them severe psychological harm but also deterring them from digital participation. Some are particularly exposed, such as young girls, women’s rights defenders, journalists, public figures and politicians. Online abuse and harassment limits women and girls to express themselves freely and without fear. They are being silenced and isolated.
Zonta is committed to raise awareness and to speed up its efforts to put an end to cyber violence.
To this end, Zonta is hosting a press conference which will take place at the Brussels City Hall on Saturday 26th November 2022 at 12h30.
We will bring together high-level representatives from the UN Women Brussels Office, the Belgian Federal Institute for Gender Equality, the Flemish Centre of Excellence Sensoa, the Mayor and Alderman for Gender Equality of Brussels, as well as victims of cyber violence. We will also provide a platform for the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) to unveil an artwork dedicated to cyber violence and created by a young street artist.
The press conference will address gender-related digital violence. 2 in 10 adult social media users have already been victims of cyberbullying, and among young people the figure is twice as high! Special attention is paid to supporting and counselling victims, but prevention is also important.
This highly topical issue will be addressed during a panel discussion with the exceptional presence of experts from home and abroad:
- Dagmar Schumacher, Director UN Women Brussels office
- Carlien Scheele, Director European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
- Prof. Liesbet Stevens, Institute Equality Women Men (IVGM)
- Erika Frans, Director of Sensoa
- Ayke Gubbels, Director Punt vzw
The press conference will end with the unveiling of an artwork commissioned by EIGE on the theme of digital sexual violence and created for the City of Brussels by three street artists.
Régine Claeys, Area 06 Director