3rd generation WAVE Youth Ambassadors Ilvana Dedja (Albania) and Lena Östlund (France/Sweden) discuss cyber violence against women and girls as a deepening challenge to gender equality and democracy with Dr. Eleonora Esposito, a Seconded National Expert at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Together, they look into the following: lack of data & clear definitions; various forms of online violence such as harassment, stalking & Doxing; intersectionality, as well as policies and recommendations.
“The problem is that cyber violence is often dismissed as an insignificant and virtual phenomenon that is not real violence, is not psychical violence, so we think it is not as important, as urgent and as impactful as other forms of gender-based violence. The thing is that cyber violence does not exist in a vacuum. It is an act of gender-based violence that is perpetrated through new technologies”, says Dr. Eleonora Esposito.
Cyber violence against women and girls
Gender-based violence that is perpetrated through electronic communication and the internet.
Although cyber violence can affect both women and men, women and girls experience different and more traumatic forms of cyber violence.
There are various forms of cyber violence against women and girls, including, but not limited to, cyber stalking, non-consensual pornography (or ‘revenge porn’), gender-based slurs, hate speech and harassment, ‘slut-shaming’, unsolicited pornography, ‘sextortion’, rape threats and death threats, and electronically facilitated trafficking.
Cyber violence is not a separate phenomenon to ‘real world’ violence, as it often follows the same patterns as offline violence.
Definition from the European Insititute for Gender Equality
 Dr. Eleonora Esposito is a Seconded National Expert at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and a Researcher at the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra (Spain). A Marie Skłodowska-Curie Alumna (2019-2021), Dr. Esposito has been investigating cyber violence against women in politics as a deepening challenge to gender equality and democracy. At EIGE, she is a Researcher in the Gender-based Violence Unit and the Project Manager of “Cyber violence against women and girls in the EU 27”. This multi-annual project is aimed at conceptually mapping and statistically defining gender-based cyber violence in its different forms, while improving statistical data collection and EU policy effectiveness against it.