Digital Safety is a Right

Syrian Women Journalists and Human Rights Defenders in the Digital Space: Risks and Threats

Given the long-standing political context since 2011 in the country and the ensuing war and its impacts, including the collapse of infrastructure, repression and the dispersion of Syrians across the world, many Syrian women consider the digital space unsafe. Others consider it chaotic, unregulated, and unfair due to the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of digital violence who are not held to account or tried.

This research, which focuses on the current realities of women participants in the study and the contexts in which they live, is the first of its kind to examine digital violence targeting Syrian journalists and women human rights defenders, and its psychological, bodily and professional impacts. The report also highlights the types of digital violence faced by these women, and on which platforms such attacks take place. It is based on the results of a survey, interviews and a focus group discussion conducted with a number of Syrian women journalists and human rights defenders. The report concludes with recommendations addressed to local media organizations, international foundations working in media development and social media platforms.

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