Women leading and influencing



27 September: Online Violence Against Women in the Pacific Panel Discussion

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Event Time, Date: 1:00PM - 3:00PM, Tuesday 27 September 2022

Location: Online, please register to attend

In the absence of formal data, anecdotal experiences of Pacific Island women suggest that many have experienced online violence, often as a sanction for transgressing rigid gender norms (including demonstrating leadership). It tends to be violent, sexualised, focused on appearance, and may question a women’s supposed virtue or even their fertility. It may also involve threats of rape or harm against women and children. Further enquiry is needed to demonstrate the prevalence of this kind of abuse and the impact on women’s mental wellbeing and career trajectories.

This WLI Learning & Networking panel discussion will further explore the following questions relating to online violence against women and girls in the Pacific:

  • What do we know about the prevalence of online violence against women and girls in the Pacific? What data gaps need to be addressed?
  • What strategies have been shown to be effective in addressing online gender-based violence?
  • What are the priorities for policy and legislative reform?

Event Outline

1:00pm: Welcome and acknowledgement of country

1:10pm: Welcome Hazel Lang, Assistant Director, Australia Awards, Global Education and Scholarships Section, DFAT

1:15pm: Panel discussion facilitated by Kira Osborne, Senior International Development Officer & Pacific Lead, Australia’s Government eSafety Commissioner

  • Paula Smith eSafety Women’s Presenter and Training Facilitator, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner
  • Stephanie Dunn, Legal Officer, Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC)
  • Jope Tarai, PhD Candidate, Australian National University
  • Tracy Shields, Senior Advisor, Child Rights & Protection, Plan International Australia
  • Anju Mangal, Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet, World Wide Web Foundation

2:00pm: Plenary Q&A

2:20pm: Break out session/small group discussions on the following topics, facilitated by panellists):

  • What are the legal and policy challenges to preventing and responding online gender-based violence in the Pacific? (Stephanie Dunn, FWCC)
  • Findings from the Online Safety in the Pacific research into children’s digital practices and online safety (April Turner, ChildFund & Tracey Shields, Plan International)
  • Research and data gaps and appropriate methodologies to understand women’s experiences of online gender-based violence (Jope Tarai, ANU)
  • How can we build the capacity of civil society to address the issue of online gender-based violence? (Anju Mangal, WWW Foundation)
  • The intersection between online gender-based violence and women’s leadership (Paula Smith, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner)

2:40pm: Plenary Feedback session and any final questions

2:55pm: Thanks and wrap up

3:00pm: Session close


This WLI Learning & Networking Event is open to all current Australia Awards scholars from the Pacific region.