As far as gender related issues/problems are concerned, technology presents us with both opportunities and challenges. The opportunities for promotion of gender equality and fairness with the aim to eliminate discrimination are virtually endless. Nevertheless, challenges appear, such as the strengthening of deeply rooted, socially structured discrimination of women and LGBTQI community. The emerging social networks, instead of promoting values of equality, turned into platforms for spreading and dissipation of hatred and prejudice. Relying on technology (and internet in particular) as a public and uncontrolled, therefore powerful instrument, the perpetrators use it to humiliate and oppress/abuse marginalized groups, especially women, to achieve and protect their own economic interests. Against its own will, technology became an accomplice in acts of gender-based violence.
The initiative aims to identify and map the existing situation on the ground, in terms of challenges that impede the understanding of violence against women and girls in digital spaces, and violence committed through use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The poll and the interview were intended for and conducted in organizations/institutions that work in the area of women's human rights and/or are active in the domain of information and communication technologies.
The poll and the interviews were planned and conducted both in governmental and non-governmental sector. The poll questionnaire was addressed to all employees of the organizations and institutions, while interviews were conducted with the competent officials (director, chief, head of department, etc.) in select government institutions and non-governmental organizations.
The survey had the following goals:
• Establish the existing situation in violence against women, using the current statistical data.
• Identify the forms of violence against women, including the forms of violence that take place on the internet (provided that there were reported cases of online violence).
• Study the methods of reporting of cases of violence against women to the competent institutions and authorities.
• The collected data shall be used to prepare a plan/draft-directions and protocols for incorporation of cases of violence against women on the internet in the report, documentation and statistics.
The gathering of basic data shall focus on the following questions:
1. What is the actual procedure for reporting violence against women? What are the differences and challenges related to collection of data and statistics in the country (in the entities: The BiH Federation and the Republic of Srpska - RS)?
2. In what way the institutions and business circles understand and perceive the problem of violence against women? How much women's organizations and human rights institutions know about technologies?
3. What is the role of technology in the current situation related to violence against women?
4. What are the possible processes and steps that may be implemented with the aim to add VAW on the internet to the gathering of data and information on violence against women in general, implemented by organizations or state agencies?