Digital technology has the potential to play an important role in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. However, women’s ability to access, use and benefit from the transformative power of digital technology is increasingly undermined by digital violence, facilitated by Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) against women.
During the COVID19 pandemic, social distancing and quarantine were put in place as population safety measures. However, the impact of these measures has not only relegated women to the private sphere, but has also triggered an increase in gender conservatism and a rollback of women’s rights around the world, including Paraguay.
In that framework, this research seeks to explore steps to address digital gender-based violence facilitated by the ICT in Paraguay. It also provides data on women’s access and evidence on digital gender-based violence in Paraguay, to broaden the focus of the definition of cyber violence in Law 5777/16 (Law for the comprehensive protection of women against all forms of violence). It also seeks to contribute to generate a baseline of analysis on online violence against women in Paraguay, which motivates new studies of greater scope and, above all, debate for the generation of public policies focused on the issue.
This study gathers the main results of the qualitative research on online violence against women in Paraguay. It describes the types of intimidation, violence and abusive experiences identified, as well as their effects or damage caused. At the same time, it shows how cyber violence occurs to a greater extent towards women with a political position and those who are public opinion leaders.
Keywords: gender-based violence, gender on the Internet, online harassment