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UAE GBC and Global Council on SDG 5 lead workshop to combat technology-enabled gender-based violence

He UAE Gender Balance Council (GBC of the United Arab Emirates), in cooperation with the World Council on Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5), organized a workshop focused on the development of policy guidelines for the prevention and treatment of gender-facilitated violence for Technology (TFGBV) at the Dubai Government Media Office.

The workshop brought together experts and policymakers from government, international organizations and technology companies to collaboratively define areas of collaboration and outline priorities to develop policy guidelines regarding addressing and preventing gender-based violence through digital platforms, using technology as a tool.

Collaborating for the future

To name Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Vice President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of the SDG5 Global Council, Ruqayya Albloushi, Executive Director of International Relations at the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, welcomed participants during his opening speech. He noted that the Global Councils on the Sustainable Development Goals were established during the 2018 Summit. World Government Summit Bring together a unique interdisciplinary network of decision makers from governments, international organisations, academia, charities and the private sector to implement innovative projects and discuss the creative implementation of the 17 SDGs at national and global levels.

Mona Al Marri commented:

“In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, we find ourselves facing a pressing situation. The world is witnessing an unprecedented rise in globalized cross-border data flows, coupled with the proliferation of digital spaces, and often marked by highly ungoverned online exchanges.”

Al-Marri noted that the creation of these vital guidelines to prevent gender-based violence in the digital sphere is an embodiment of the UAE GBC’s quest to achieve the fifth Sustainable Development Goal and that this embodies the Council’s unwavering commitment to elevate women around the world, promoting gender balance, and championing empowerment on a global scale.

She added:

“It is about transforming the world by improving gender balance, empowering women globally and eradicating the many forms of violence that women endure. By collaborating, we can address and conquer this challenge.”

TFGBV Workshop Discussion

At the beginning of the discussion, Elena Siegel, Partner at Kearney and member of ODS5, He moderated the discussion and said:

“Our goal is to identify areas where the existing policy landscape can be strengthened and understand where government and private sector organizations can collaborate to address these issues.”

The workshop focused its discussion on identifying prevalent forms of TFGBV, regional variations in the type, incidence and responses of TFGBV, as well as measuring and tracking the impact of TFGBV. It also explored existing policy interventions and guidelines and initiatives taken by technology companies to address TFGBV. This initiative aims to inform and guide policy makers to address growing forms of gender-based violence in the digital sphere.

Proactive solutions

During the thought-provoking workshop, policymakers and technology companies engaged in dynamic discussions and realized that the battle against online gender-based violence must begin primarily within the private sector, recognizing the challenges these organizations face in addressing these issues.

They noted that in this ever-evolving technological landscape, being reactive is no longer enough. The focus was on proactive solutions, introducing future-proof measures that can stand the test of time and the need to act quickly.

Representatives of technology companies noted that adopting principled approaches and fostering crucial partnerships between the private and government sectors is the right path to preventing disinformation. Private sector collaboration with the UAE government and law enforcement was highlighted as paramount, ensuring a clear point of contact and a unified approach to addressing these issues.

They explored ways to proactively incorporate protective measures in the early stages of policy design to mitigate the risk of gender-based violence. Additionally, they sought opportunities for global cooperation to address and respond to this problem, particularly considering its potential to manifest in new forms in the future.

Fight together against gender violence facilitated by technology

Given rapid technological advances, including artificial intelligence and virtual reality, the session also examined how the guidelines could remain sustainable and adaptable to the ever-evolving technological landscape.

This workshop catalyzed a comprehensive approach to addressing gender-based violence online, combining technology, education, awareness-raising and policy-making, all aimed at creating a safer and more inclusive digital world. The UAE GBC and the Global Council on SDG 5 recognize these challenges and understand the importance of policymakers working together to contribute to the development of a new policy note and guideline to help address the challenges in the fight against gender violence facilitated by technology.

News source: Emirates News Agency

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