”Empowering Women: Digital Safeguarding Against Hate Speech”


Supporting organization
OxYGen Foundation

European Union

All for Equal Rights Foundation (ARF)

To create an inclusive and safer digital environment for women, especially those in public roles, by addressing and mitigating online hate speech to enhance the overall empowerment of women, including building their capacity, influencing policy changes, and challenging stereotypes.

The digital era has democratized information and provided a platform for diverse voices, especially for women who have traditionally been underrepresented in public discourse. However, this newfound visibility has also brought forward an alarming problem: the pervasive hate speech targeting women online, particularly those in public roles. The country’s legal framework regarding hate speech is in a developmental phase, needing updates and refinements to balance freedom of expression with the prevention of hate speech effectively. In addition to this, there’s a need for greater public education and awareness to foster a culture of respectful communication and understanding. The effectiveness of policies against hate speech is also impacted by the need for robust enforcement mechanisms and community engagement, particularly with minority groups and women who are often the targets of such speech. The challenge for Armenia lies in crafting and implementing policies that address these diverse factors while respecting democratic principles and human rights.

  1. Rise in Online Hate Speech Targeting Women: A troubling trend has been observed, where women, especially those in politics, business, and public administration, are subjected to disproportionate amounts of online hate. Such targeted hate speech isn’t just an affront to individual dignity but has a chilling effect, potentially deterring women from participating in public roles or voicing their opinions.
  2. Inadequate Monitoring Mechanisms: While social media platforms have general monitoring tools, there lacks a dedicated, efficient system tailored for tracking hate speech against women, especially those in specific sectors like public administration. The absence of such a system impedes the collection of accurate data, making it challenging to understand the full scope of the problem or devise effective countermeasures.
  3. Limited Awareness and Counter-Narratives: The general public remains largely unaware of the magnitude and impact of hate speech against women online. Without this awareness, community-driven counter-narratives and pressure on platform providers to take action are minimal.
  4. Insufficient Capacity of CSOs and Media Organizations: Many CSOs and media entities, although willing, lack the tools and know-how to efficiently monitor, report, and combat hate speech. Their capacities need strengthening, ensuring they can serve as front-line defenders against online harassment of women.

The main objectives of the project to achieve the purpose are as follows:

  1. Developing ARF’s internal capacity on SMM through participation in a coursework on social media monitoring and draft a SMM report on hate speech against women.
  2. Raise public awareness about the scale and impact of hate speech against women online and strengthening understanding of CSOs, media organizations, and women in public roles to monitor and counteract online hate speech.
  3. Influence policy reforms through evidence-based recommendations and advocacy efforts.։

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The ”Empowering Women: Digital Safeguarding Against Hate Speech” sub-grant program is implemented by ARF within the “EQUAL – EU 4 Women Empowerment in Armenia” project.

The project is implemented by OxYGen Foundation, European Partnership for Democracy NGO, Netherlands Helsinki Committee NGO, Women’s Support Center NGO, WINNET Goris Development Foundation in cooperation with Winnet Sweden NGO. It is funded by the European Union.

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