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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Wednesday, May 16 • 17:15 - 18:15
Reclaiming Her Voice: Practical Solutions to Online Violence Against Women in Politics and Journalism

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This session will be an interactive, solutions-oriented panel discussion about strategies for understanding and effectively combating online violence against women in public life - particularly journalists and women in politics. Harassment and other types of violence against women online affects women in journalism and politically active women alike, and manifests in a variety of forms on almost every online platform available.Indeed, the media’s slow response to harassment of women within their own industry has arguably led to an inability to appropriately deal with the harassment of other women online - including politically-active women. For both women in politics and in journalism, there is often a lack if infrastructure - be it within political parties, from social media platforms, or on the part of media organizations - to address harassment and combat the problem of violence online. This can result in a chilling effect for women online, including through choosing not to participate in leadership or political debates, re-evaluating the types of journalistic beats they cover, deactivating or permanently deleting their online accounts, or even leaving their profession entirely. The resulting limitation of both the number of women able to participate and the range of issues discussed in politics and the media poses a fundamental challenge to democracy, progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as to the integrity of the information space.

The panel will engage experts across multiple sectors including civic technology, gender equality, and democracy and governance to discuss methods for building international understanding of this issue and identifying strategies for combating it. It will also include tangible examples from women in these sectors who have experienced this type of violence. A moderator will first introduce the issue of online violence against women in politics and in journalism, framing the issue for the audience and highlighting the key issues to be explored in the session. The moderator will then open the floor to allow each additional speaker to share their perspectives, experiences and approaches they have utilized through a series of guiding questions and facilitate a lively dialogue between the speakers and for frequent engagement with the audience. The goal is the participants will work together to (1) raise awareness of the prevalence and anti-democratic impacts of online violence against women in politics and in journalism; (2) foster knowledge- and idea-sharing among panelists and audience participants of the strategies for understanding, documenting, and combating this type of online violence; and (3) emerge with tangible takeaways and a framework for thinking about best practices to combat online violence across sectors.

avatar for Sandra Pepera

Sandra Pepera

Director of Gender, Women and Democracy, National Democratic Institute
Sandra Pepera is a career diplomat and international development professional. Before joining NDI as its director for Gender, Women and Democracy in 2014, she spent thirteen years as a senior officer at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), including leading... Read More →

avatar for Daniel O'Maley

Daniel O'Maley

Senior Digital Governance Specialist, Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA)
avatar for Dr. Courtney Radsch

Dr. Courtney Radsch

Advocacy Director, Committee to Protect Journalists
Dr. Courtney Radsch is the Advocacy Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). As a journalist, author, and freedom of expression advocate, she writes and speaks frequently on the nexus of technology, journalism, and rights. She is the author of Cyberactivism and Citizen... Read More →
avatar for Nani Jansen Reventlow

Nani Jansen Reventlow

Director, Digital Freedom Fund
Nani Jansen Reventlow is the founding Director of the Digital Freedom Fund, which supports partners in Europe to advance digital rights through strategic litigation. Nani is also an Associate Tenant at Doughty Street Chambers and an Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet... Read More →
avatar for Derek Ruths

Derek Ruths

Chief Architect, Charitable Analytics International
Derek Ruths is co-founder of CAI, a charity focused on bringing the power of data science to social good initiatives. He is also Associate Professor of Computer Science at McGill University, and the Director of the McGill Centre for Social and Cultural Data Science. In these capacities... Read More →

Wednesday May 16, 2018 17:15 - 18:15 EDT