On 11th July 2018, the Centre for Social Research conducted a one day workshop with Goa Police on the topic of ‘Online Safety through Gender Perspective’. The primary aim of the workshop was to discuss gender concepts sociologically and integrate it with the rising cyber crimes in the country. The workshop discussed issues around human trafficking, religion, tourism and the role of law enforcement agencies. The reporting of cyber crimes is low and restricted to cyber crime cells of the jurisdiction in which the victim is domicile. The secondary aim of workshop was to flag the importance of knowledge and information regarding cyber crimes and generate higher sensitivities for gender based online crimes.
The Centre for Social Research received optimum support and cooperation from the Ribandar Crime Branch of Goa. Mr. Kartik Kaushik (IPS), Superintendent of Police graciously permitted the undertaking of the workshop and also provided the Gazetted Officers Mess at GRP ground, as workshop venue. Mr. Rajan Nigalye (Inspector) extended help in coordination and execution of the workshop.
The internet penetration in India is 31 percent (IAMAI-IMRB 2016 Report). There has been an exponential increase in cyber crimes without adequate awareness on dealing with those. The access of internet in Indian women and girls is impacted owing to socio-cultural restrictions and curtailment of economic independence that restricts ownership and access to digital technology. In spite of the aforementioned limitations, women and girls in India are more vulnerable. The rationale to higher susceptibility of females being victims of online crimes is linked to the prevalence of exponential (and chronic) rise in gender based violence in India.
The society produces both – the criminals and upholders of law and justice. Since the same medium creates and mitigates human rights violation; it must tip the balance in the favor of peace and justice. In order to do the same, the cultural improvement needs to start from the micro unit of society – the family. The Centre for Social Research not only advocates for gender transformation in families but also promotes safer and healthier online practices at the college and universities across India.
The Centre for Social Research in association with Facebook has implemented ‘SocialSurfing’ initiative where we engage with the youth on online abuse, employing counter speech to deal with trolls and using social media for social change. Through this process, we have reached out to over 15,000 students from hundreds of colleges across the country. We also provide help to those who reach out to us via social media.