On the 8th of June 2024, Digitally Right organized a Workshop titled “Digital Security Workshop: Mitigating Online Gender Based Violence.” This event is part of the Greater Internet Freedom (GIF) project, a USAID-sponsored global program that stands as the largest global effort dedicated to advancing Internet freedom. Digitally Right partnered with Internews and EngageMedia in GIF in Bangladesh.

The Workshop was attended by 16 participants from various CSOs and gender rights activists. Among the 16 participants, 10 belong to the Cyber Support for Women and Children platform. This platform is an alliance of 13 organizations in total that safeguard women and children from violence online. As such, this Workshop was highly relevant and useful for the group. The other 6 participants belong to the OGNIE Foundation, a gender-focused non-profit organization based in Bangladesh.

The Workshop started with an ice breaking session. This workshop took a unique approach where the participants themselves were in charge of the discussion points. With the help of an interactive activity, the participants teamed up to identify the common issues women, in their experience, face online and pinpoint the topics that they want to learn about during the workshop. This activity revealed a concerning number of threats women face online which include revenge porn be it by means of having intimate pictures and videos being leaked without consent or having their pictures photoshopped to appear obscene, hacked social media accounts, identity theft, bullying and doxing.

Based on the threats identified, the participants dove into a session to learn about the risks associated with some common online practices and how to circumvent them. This was followed by a session on password management to avoid social media account hacking, the importance of activating 2 factor authentication, encrypted communication options and how to identify and bypass phishing attempts. 

The workshop also included sessions on reporting and documenting harassing and bullying comments online as well as a session on how various apps track our activities on the phone and how to stop them. The last session on the Workshop consisted of a group activity where the participants were divided into groups of 4 and given 4 different scenarios on revenge porn, cyber bullying, identity theft and account hacking. Each group came up with a solution as to how they will handle each of the situations and presented in front of everyone else. This group activity helped everyone to connect and exchange ideas and strategies. The Workshop concluded with a summary of the entire day’s event.