IGF 2023 WS #139 Crisis:Rising Tide of Tech-Facilitated Gender-Based Violence


Cybersecurity, Cybercrime & Online Safety
New Technologies and Risks to Online Security
Online Hate Speech and Rights of Vulnerable People

Organizer 1: David Wright, 🔒
Organizer 2: Rachel Grant, UK Foreign Office
Organizer 3: Boris Radanovic, 🔒South West Grid for Learning
Organizer 4: Michael Tunks, 🔒Internet Watch Foundation

Speaker 1: Cindy Southworth, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Susie Hargreaves, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: P Siddharth, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Cailin Crockett, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Stephanie Willman Bordat, Civil Society, African Group


David Wright, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Boris Radanovic, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Michael Tunks, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Break-out Group Discussions - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

A What is a model national response for TFGBV? What is the role for each sector (gov, tech, civil society)
B How a theory of change can be used to orchestrate stakeholders to fight tech facilitated gender based violence.
C Within a framework of global accountability, what are the opportunities for tech platforms to identify, prevent and remove tech facilitated gender based violence?
D How do we support survivors of tech facilitated gender based violence?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will:
1. Explore the impact of TFGBV on women and girls and LGBTQI+.
2. Discuss and create a theory of change with effective strategies to tackle online VAWG across sectors.
3. Identify policy recommendations and further opportunities to address the issue.
4. Share experiences and best practices from different regions and countries.
5. Highlight interventions to promote a safety-by design approach
Following a 5 min introduction, the session will have 5 min contributions from each of the speakers (total 30 mins), the audience will separate to smaller discussion groups and have the opportunity to discuss and debate (for 30 mins) in the breakout sessions, aspects of national model responses of TFGBV and to choose from
1. Policy and Government
2. Criminal Justice System
3. Victim
4. Industry
5. Media and Communications
6. Society and Education
Each group will then feedback highlights for the final15 minutes of the session


A shocking 73% of women have encountered online violence, as reported by UN Broadband Commission (2022). This under-recognised crisis is escalating as technology facilitates gender-based violence, making it imperative to debate at the IGF.

Tech facilitated gender based violence (TFGBV) prevents women, girls, and LGBTQI+ persons from fully enjoying their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and impedes their participation in economic, social, cultural, and political affairs. It is one of the top three barriers to addressing the gender digital divide. Authoritarian and anti-gender actors increasingly use TFGBV tactics to threaten and destabilise societies to undermine democratic values.

The Global Partnership for Action on Gender Based Online Harassment and Abuse has emerged as a leading force in tackling this pervasive problem. Through its inclusive and multi-stakeholder approach, it aims to foster collaboration and implement concrete measures to address TFGBV. The Partnership's work centres around awareness raising, capacity building, policy development, and promoting good practices to create a safer digital environment for all.

The session will create a theory of change and lead a call to action that participating stakeholders can continue beyond the IGF to redresses TFGBV, specifically image based abuse. It will feature examples of successful policy initiatives that set remarkable precedents in providing support to victims, raising community awareness, and facilitating legal action against perpetrators.

The multi-stakeholder community’s role is pivotal alongside strong regional voices. Tech companies are increasingly accountable for preventing online harassment on their platforms, but more needs to be done. This workshop will explore, through leading edge technological and ‘safety-by-design’ examples how multi-stakeholders can contribute to creating safer online spaces that are free from TFGBV.

The workshop will unite policymakers and stakeholders in a global movement against TFGBV by creating the opportunity for this critical conversation ensuring an inclusive, safe, and empowering digital world for all

Expected Outcomes

This event will foster a shared understanding of the issue and inspire participants to take concrete actions within their respective spheres of influence.

Create a theory of change and lead a call to action that stakeholders will continue beyond the IGF to redresses TFGBV. This will facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and best practices, enabling stakeholders to develop and adopt innovative strategies that promote a safe online environment for women and girls.

Hybrid Format: Having successfully organised and presented a Hybrid workshop at the 2021 and 2022 IGF, the organisers benefited greatly from the preparatory support provided by the IGF. The role of the online moderator was key in monitoring and representing the online participants within the discussion, intervening and tabling their comments. It is expected that some of the key participants will also participate remotely and their contribution will be projected into the room, a function managed by the onsite moderator.