UN expert Irene Khan said that the gender digital divide is essential for the fulfilment of women’s freedom. UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan urged all countries to take action to protect women journalists from online and offline violence. “Social media platforms should be free from discrimination against women and ensure it is safe for them. In online media, the rate of gender-based violence, hate speech, and disinformation is rising. Those who attack women mentally or physically must be severely punished”, Irene said.
Democracy needs independent, liberal and diverse media, this will ensure equal participation and representation for women on social media platforms. On World Press Freedom Day (May 3), Irene Khan issued a Joint Declaration on freedom of expression and gender justice with the cooperation of freedom of expression experts from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Organisation of Amerian States (OAS), and the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR). The primary objective of the Joint Declaration is to address the challenges of women’s freedom of expression. “The States is responsible for proactively clear the structural, and legal barriers that inhibit women’s free expression and public participation”, Irene added.