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Giving women a $voice$ and a $safe space$ on the internet .

The inviting, inspiring and constantly changing online world can also be threatening to our emotional and mental well-being.  Often when we talk about crime on the Internet, we limit ourselves to cyber laws. Beyond the purview of these laws, policies and guidelines is the dark dingy underbelly of the Internet – crowded with trolls who come armed with many weapons of online harassment and abuse. 

At Breakthrough, we are committed to creating a safe space, a place free of discrimination and violence for girls and women, both on the ground and online. Our digital work therefore, is geared towards creating a multi-stakeholder approach for safer digital experiences. We work with government bodies, national and international partners, social platforms, students, parents and communities, to collectively upturn the social structure that fosters an environment of oppression and exploitation for certain groups, entities, people and ideas. 

Programmes.

Our work on the ground.

#AskingForIt (2015):  We created a counter-narrative around the phrase ‘Asking for it’, urging bystanders to intervene. We focussed on highlighting the impact and implications of online harassment, as this is a place where sexual abuse and violence took on many heinous, unexpected forms. 

#StandWithMe (2016):  We called upon people of all generations to create gender-inclusive safe spaces online and offline, aimed at reducing instances of sexual harassment. The tagline ‘Be my safe space’ stressed  ‘Safe Space’ as an idea, beyond the physical meaning of the term – a space marked with empathy, kindness, and no-judgement. 

#IsItACrime and #FreeMyBody (2017)

When our 2017 feminist remix of the song Urvashi Urvashi went viral, the accolades came with a generous helping of trolling and abuse. The women in the video were targeted and harassed online. We took this attack and turned it into the inspiration for our campaigns #IsItACrime and #FreeMyBody. While the first one simplified the language pertaining to the many laws around online harassment, the second one focused on abuse, body shaming and mental health. 

#DontLogOut (2017): Reports tell us that as many as 50% of women in Indian cities face online harassment. Some fight back, but many our silenced by the abuse – scared and shamed out of the social media space. Many of them log out to never return to their profiles. We partnered with OLX to throw light on the importance of inclusive and safe spaces online. We aimed to give these women a supportive space that is free of stigma and judgement where they can share their experiences, and return to the online world bolder, louder and more confident. 

#PositionOfStrength (2017): We partnered with Twitter and organised an event to empower women to raise their voices without the fear of abuse and harassment. The event emphasised the importance of inclusive safer spaces and focussed on empathy as a crucial and necessary cultural tool.

#StandWithMe (2018): Empathy and intergenerational dialogue – we believe these to be necessary tools to create gender-inclusive safer spaces, especially for adolescents and young people. With a mix of online and on-ground activities, the campaign laid focus on enabling youth voices to champion the movement for equality and safety in the online space. 

#WebWonderWomen (2019): To amplify the voices of women on Twitter and to celebrate their work and contribution across multiple fields, we collaborated with the Ministry of Women and Twitter India to launch the #WebWonderWomen campaign. The initiative aimed to fix the gender imbalance in the online space, where women and their unique, powerful, inspiring stories remain unheard and unseen. #WebWonderWomen encourages women to let their diverse positive stories be heard and urges them to claim their place online.

Get Involved.

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