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Digital Shakti Campaign 4.0 launched by National Commission for Women in India

Digital security, through awareness, has become an essential element of cyber security experts around the world. To prevent women from falling victims to cyber crimes, the National Commission for Women (NCW) in India started the Digital Shakti Campaign in 2018 for spreading knowledge about cyber safety. The first phase of the Campaign was undertaken in collaboration with Facebook and the National Commission for Women. From June 2018 to December 2019, a total of 135+ workshops on Online Safety and Digital Literacy were organized. A total of 62,000 girls and women were sensitized across 6 states in India, namely Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and Manipur.

In the second phase, the campaign was revamped as the We Think Digital – Digital Shakti campaign, and launched on 11th February 2020, on the occasion of Safer Internet Day with an offline workshop that was conducted for over 300 women in Lucknow, the capital city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Over a period of 12 months, a total of 167 workshops and 1,05,000+ netizens from various backgrounds, including students, teachers and case workers, were trained on the following topics: Understanding Data & Digital Footprint; Responsible Online Behaviour; Fighting Misinformation and Cybercrime & Redressal.

The third phase of the We Think Digital – Digital Shakti campaign was launched on 4th March, 2021 in Leh, Ladakh. The objective of the campaign was to sensitize 1,50,000 girls and women over a period of 12 months, across India on the various aspects of online safety and digital literacy, through sessions on data privacy and social media safety, cyber ethics and digital wellbeing, cyberlaw, cybercrime and redressal.

In the third phase of the campaign that was launched in 2021, a resource center was launched to provide information regarding cyber cases related to women. In the year spanning its implementation, it sensitized one and a half lakh girls and women about online safety and digital literacy through lessons on data privacy, cyber ethics and cyberlaw. In 2020, the Digital Shakti Campaign 2.0 was awarded a certificate of recognition under the champion of Ethical dimensions of the Information Society category by the World Summit on the Information Society.

The National Women Commission has now launched the fourth edition of the Digital Shakti Campaign in collaboration with the CyberPeace Foundation and Meta. It will focus on making women digitally skilled and aware to stand-up against any illegal or inappropriate activity online.

During the event, the Chairperson of the NCW, Rekha Sharma said, “This new phase will prove to be a milestone in ensuring safe cyber spaces for women. Digital Shakti has been accelerating the digital participation of women and girls by training them to use technology to their advantage and to keep themselves safe online. I believe the project will continue to contribute towards the larger goal of fighting cyber violence against women and girls and make internet a safer space for them.”

The event also involved an interactive panel discussion on the topic, “Safe Spaces Online Combatting Cyber-Enabled Human Trafficking & Combatting Other forms of Online Violence” which was attended by the likes of Padma Shri Sunitha Krishnan, Advocate Pavan Duggal, Director-Operations of Cyber Peace Foundation, Preeti Chauhan, etc.

In recent years, the number of cybercrimes has increased steadily in the country. According to the National Crime Record Bureau, cyber crimes in India rose by 6 percent a year in 2021 when authorities registered a total of 52,974 cases related to cyber crimes. Out of the cases, over 30 thousand belonged to fraud, three thousand cases were registered fir sexual exploitation, over two thousand for extortion, over thousand each were registered for causing disrepute and personal revenge.

Women continue to face issues in the field of cyber security due to lack of awareness, lack of support from family, conservative nature of society which covers justice with shame, inadequate cyber capabilities of the police, etc. Women are primary victims of harassment and duping which makes their private data in online unsafe as well. The most concerning aspect of this is the lack of registration of crimes with the law enforcement authorities. Many cases in the cybercrime reporting portal are unresolved too. The cybercrime portal has been setup for ease in reporting such crimes.

Photo Credit : https://twitter.com/DigitalShakti/header_photo


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