Women Influencing Tech Spaces: Dr Ranjana Kumari Speaks

In November 2017, our Director Dr Ranjana Kumari, was invited to be a speaker at “Online Safety On The Edge“, a 3 day event co-organized by Office of the eSafety Commissioner and Netsafe NZ. The event featured industry experts, academics and leaders in online safety, to discuss and share insights into global issues, challenges and world-first responses to minimising and preventing online harm. She was a panelist in the parallel session titled “eSafetyWomen – combatting gendered abuse online”. along with conducting a workshop titled “eSafetyWomen – at the frontline”.

Recently, Office of the ESafety Comissioner, Government of Australia, launched its Women In Tech Spaces website, where prominent women spoke about the need for cyber spaces to be a safe space for women.

Here is a glimpse of what Dr. Kumari has to say-

Since 2015, Centre for Social Research began to work on the issue of online safety, realizing the importance of safe online spaces, which work towards social change. These initiatives, broadly focus on engaging the youth of the country, through interactive and engaging capacity-building workshops, that speak to them using the very social media platforms they are an active part of. The programs, #SocialSurfing and #Tweesurfing, with Facebook and Twitter respectively, aim to impart youth with knowledge of security and tools provided by the platform, to use social media in effective and socially beneficial ways. For the Centre for Social Research, an organization that seeks to build progressive and safe gender relations in Indian society, the way internet users perpetuate regressive patriarchal notions of womanhood in the digital world has been an area of grave concern. Through our work, we hope to not only increase the number of women who have access to internet and use it for their benefit, but also reduce the number of online crimes, and negative experiences faced by internet users. Additionally, we aim to inculcate a culture of using social media and the cyber space for the benefit of society. We firmly believe that the online world is a space for activism and it is time to inspire the youth to do the same.