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#PositionOfStrength is Helping Women in India and The MENA Region

The Economic Times
It's an unfortunate truth that women in many countries are not necessarily treated equally to men. This is improving in some places but we still have a long way to go and online we have even further. Social media is the medium of choice for this cyber violence and though some people may claim that women just need to get over the threats or that the comments are meaningless, it's become enough of an issue that Twitter have decided to take a stand.

The #PositionOfStrength hashtag is only a glimpse into what Twitter is trying to do. The campaign hopes to empower women so they feel they can speak up about any issues they face, both online and off. When talking about things like pay gaps on Twitter or politics, many women are abused and if a woman dares stand up to someone who may claim to be an anti-feminist then they're going to be attacked by someone claiming they're an idiot or plenty of things they're not just for disagreeing. It's completely unfair and it makes perfect sense that this campaign has already been run in both Australia and Ireland. Unfortunately it is actions like this that are causing certain people to cry out that Twitter are unfairly taking sides. It seems ridiculous that anyone would speak out and say that if women can’t handle the threats, they shouldn’t be on social media. If you’re a feminist then you’re not a nasty person who is trying to tear down anyone who disagrees with you, you’re just someone who wants everyone to be equal. It’s campaigns like this that sadly prove things aren’t equal or they wouldn’t need to teach women how to use Twitter to speak up and use it safely and it’s why Twitter should be lauded for taking a stance.

The campaign is now being run across India and the MENA region. Workshops are being held to teach women about how to use Twitter and how to be safe on it. In a country where technology is slowly increasing and there are battles over a free internet, it's imperative that women are taught that these services are there for them to use. They don't just have to talk about inane things but can share their political opinions too. The first set of workshops has been held in Delhi as part of the Global Women's Forum and many women attended across the week. More workshops and talks will be held across the year throughout the region to provide as many women as possible with the chance to hear what they can do. The only issue is that Twitter is only one social media service that women are abused on with Facebook owned Whatsapp being one of the services that women most fear being attacked on in India. You can hope that some of the skills they're taught are transferable but Twitter are going to want to help women use their own services before anyone else's. It does make sense but it's also what Facebook are in trouble for over there, for selecting which sites users would be able to access on the free internet. In India and across the world there needs to be some sort of all-purpose 'this is how you deal with violence on social media' sort of thing.

Still this is a good step and many women did attend the event. This is the first thing Twitter has done like this in Asia and they've also recently translated their Safety Centre into Hindi. This should allow more women to feel safe even if they do still have to use the block and mute options more than they'd like but hopefully that won’t be a problem in the future.

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF

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#PositionOfStrength is Helping Women in India and The MENA Region Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, February 29, 2016 Rating: 5

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