Freedom of Expression of Women in the Public Sphere: From Objectification to Technology Facilitated Sexual Violence

Submission to the Thematic Report for the 76th Session of the General Assembly

4 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2021 Last revised: 12 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sandra Amankaviciute

Sandra Amankaviciute

School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture, UNSW Sydney

Helen Pringle

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Monika Zalnieriute

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 14, 2021

Abstract

In this submission, we discuss how women in the public sphere, including women journalists, human rights defenders, politicians, and activists, face many challenges in exercising their freedom of expression across the globe. Both online and offline, the prevalence and normalisation of sexualised, objectifying, and humiliating images of women and girls, as well as technology-facilitated violence against women and pornographic content in the digital environment, limit and challenge the right to freedom of expression and opinion of women in the public sphere in multiple ways. We invite the Special Rapporteur to call on digital platforms and governments to work together to develop approaches to tackle technology-facilitated violence against women. These approaches can be grounded in both criminal and human rights law; and the latter should involve a development of a binding international human rights law for private actors to remedy the violations of freedom of expression of women in the digital environment. However, importantly, these legal approaches should also build on a wider effort to de-normalize objectification and sexualisation of women and girls, including in mainstream advertising and the multi-billion pornography industry. Only then can women in the public sphere enjoy their freedom of expression, opinion, and dignity both online and offline, without discrimination.

Keywords: Freedom of Expression; Gender; Human Rights; Feminist Theory; Objectification; Sexualisation; Discrimination; Pornography; Technology Facilitated Sexual Violence; Internet

Suggested Citation

Amankaviciute, Sandra and Pringle, Helen and Zalnieriute, Monika, Freedom of Expression of Women in the Public Sphere: From Objectification to Technology Facilitated Sexual Violence (June 14, 2021). Submission to the Thematic Report for the 76th Session of the General Assembly, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3866497 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3866497

Sandra Amankaviciute (Contact Author)

School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture, UNSW Sydney ( email )

Morven Brown Building
UNSW, Kensington
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Helen Pringle

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Monika Zalnieriute

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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