Online violence and abuse against women has become a far too common experience across the world. It is an extension of the offline violence and abuse faced by women. Abusive content is especially targeted at women who belong to marginalised sections of society. Outspoken women, like journalists and other prominent public figures, face particularly targeted online harassment and threats of violence for merely expressing their opinion.
Research conducted by Amnesty International in 2017, revealed the alarming impact that abuse and harassment on social media have on women, with women around the world reporting stress, anxiety, or panic attacks as a result of these harmful online experiences. Amnesty International surveyed 4000 women between the ages of 18 and 55, across eight countries (Denmark, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Sweden, the UK and USA). 76% of the women who had experienced abuse or harassment on social media made changes to the way they use social media platforms. 32% of whom said they’d stopped posting content that expressed their opinion on certain issues.
Social media platforms are a critical space for women and marginalised groups to exercise their right to freedom of expression in our technologically driven world. Online violence and abuse has silenced women and threatened their fundamental freedom of expression, and continues to do so all over the world. This year, Amnesty India's ongoing gender based violence programme will launch a rights campaign that aims to ensure that women in India can exercise their right to free speech without the fear of violence and abuse.
WHY BACKDOORS AND WHY MUSIC?
Music and art have always been powerful partners in the fight for justice because they possess an ability to stir something deep within us. Since the 80s, Amnesty International has pioneered in bringing art and activism together, uniting people in the pursuit of human rights for everyone, everywhere.
The Humming Tree and Amnesty International India are proud to host Backdoors 2018 as a music festival with a cause. Backdoors is all about bringing people together and advocating for change through music. The theme of Amnesty's association with The Humming Tree and Backdoors this year is addressing the issue of violence against women in online spaces, and supporting selected women’s rights organisations. We hope that through this music festival, we will be able to educate and empower people to personally make a difference by standing up against Gender Based Violence.
ABOUT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA
Amnesty International India is part of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Amnesty International global human rights movement.
Amnesty International India's vision is for every person in India to enjoy the rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.
They strive to protect people and communities who come under attack, encourage governments and other powerful groups to respect human rights, and raise awareness of the human rights standards that protect us all irrespective of our caste, creed, sex, religion or nationality.
They are independent of any political, economic or ideological interests and are funded mainly by contributions from individual supporters.