Expert Group Meeting report: Technology-facilitated violence against women: Towards a common definition

The rapidly growing access and use of information and communication technologies (ICT), accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has had multiple impacts on gender equality and women’s rights, including the further exacerbation of existing forms of violence against women (VAW), especially sexual harassment, and the emergence of new forms of VAW, such as non-consensual image sharing.

Yet, important knowledge and implementation gaps remain to inform and monitor a systematic approach of prevention and response to technology-facilitated VAW (TF VAW), including the lack of a common definition, which has been repeatedly identified as the main barrier for the production of accurate, reliable. and comparable data and knowledge around TF VAW.

To address this gap, UN Women, as part of its Joint Programme on Violence against Women Data with the World Health Organization (WHO), convened an expert group meeting on 15–16 November 2022 in New York that brought together 29 diverse stakeholders from 26 inter-governmental organizations, government agencies, civil society, and academia, including gender policy specialists, researchers, academics, and statisticians. Building on the prior work done to understand the issue of TF VAW, the expert group aimed to develop a common, comprehensive definition of TF VAW that could be used as the basis for developing tools to begin to fill the data gap around the prevalence of TF VAW.

This report captures the main points that were discussed during the two-day meeting and explains the rationale behind the development of the proposed definition.

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