Twitter launched #PositionOfStrength on Friday across India, a women’s empowerment initiative aimed at helping female Internet users bridge the gender equality gap online. Women online are often subject to trolling, threats, and bullying by those who don’t like their opinions, or more generally, their gender. In India and Malaysia, the UN says, apps such as WhatsApp, which can be used anonymously, are the tools of choice. Twitter’s #PositionOfStrength campaign, which had previously been run in Australia and Ireland but never before in Asia, is hosting “a series of roundtables and workshops with women leaders to explore increased empowerment and safety for women, both online and in the physical world,” according to Twitter’s Head of Public Policy Mahima Kaul. As part of the initiative, the Observer Research Foundation will take the campaign to 20 universities and colleges in Delhi as part of a university contest on female empowerment.
During the first roundtable, held on Friday, successful women explained how digital platforms can help one develop a public voice or personal brand, circumventing barriers, biases, and other restrictions that can hold women back offline. The workshop also taught women tools for dealing with cyber-bullying and trolling online, including basic functions such as how to ‘mute,’ ‘block,’ and ‘report’ abusive users.
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