On 30th August, 2018, the FII team conducted a workshop on ‘Combatting Online Harassment’ at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, Delhi University. We were invited by their Women Development Cell to conduct the workshop that was aimed at sensitising students on the harmful real life impacts that their online activities may have.

The workshop began with a short introduction followed with FII Founder-Director, Japleen Pasricha asking the students to do a fun exercise to lighten up the atmosphere. Everyone was asked to jump and shout “Feminism”. This exercise helped lessen the pressure on the students and created a more informal atmosphere.

After the exercise, Japleen asked the students whether they or their peers had faced online harassment. Several students came forward with their accounts as well as experiences that they’d heard from their friends; including a situation where a person created a fake account of their friend and impersonated them online. Many students then shared similar experiences.

The workshop then proceeded to a discussion on how online memes and jokes on social media have real world implications. All these jokes contribute to rape culture where seemingly innocuous jokes perpetuate a culture where it’s socially acceptable to see women as inferior and sub-human. Students then added why they think people make such jokes and how to deal with friends when they think such jokes are harmless.

The students were then made to work in groups and discuss what they understand by online harassment and violence against women. They were then given pamphlets that contain information about the ABCs of online harassment against women and the laws that protect women from harassment both online and offline. The students were then split into groups to come up with precautions that one can take to secure their social media accounts.

The students came up with various ways one could secure their social media accounts. Ideas included not sharing your password with anyone, using only secure connections, and reaching out for help when one is facing cyber harassment.

Before the conclusion of the workshop, another exercise where students were asked to stand in line and play a game based on how secure their password is. The three hour long event ended with concluding remarks by Japleen on the steps and tips on how to make your account as secure as possible. The FII team was touched by the hospitality extended to us by the Women Development Cell of DDUC and their faculty members and we hope our workshop helped sensitise their students to some extent.


Featured image credit: Women Development Cell, DDUC

Leave a Reply