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Govt. And Facebook Announce Initiative For Women And Child Safety

The Women and Child Development ministry and Facebook have announced an initiative where they will share content to promote safety of women and children and build digital literacy. This includes a comic strip and a series of short videos. The announcement was made by WCD minister Smriti Irani at Facebook’s South Asia Safety Summit.

Irani said that there is a need to make familiar spaces safe for women and children as the data for 2017 from National Crime Records Bureau shows that while more than 3 lakh women were assaulted by a man familiar to them, over 42% of men and 62% of women justify domestic violence.

“While the internet opens doors for women and children to learn and gain knowledge, there is also the responsibility of ensuring their safety, and to enable them to express their views without any apprehension. Our constant effort has been to promote the cause of equal opportunity for women and ensure a safe environment for children,” said Irani. She also said that digital platforms must keep in mind linguistic and cultural needs of women and children with special needs.

As part of the partnership between the ministry and Facebook, a comic series #CreateCareConnect by creator @neha.doodles was launched. Facebook said in a statement that the comic “aims to educate young users about online safety in a simple, fun and engaging way”. In 2020, Facebook will launch a video series called Thumbstoppers where people from advertising communities will create 10-second videos to educate people on issues like gender equality, domestic violence and education for the girl child.

During the event, Facebook also announced Ideal Internet Consortium, a working group on child safety to be led by Aarambh India Initiative. The group will use field experience and research to draft recommendations on online safety. Seven focus group discussions with young people from cites across Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand and Kerala have been conducted already, said Facebook.

Apart from that, Irani also launched a portal called We Think Digital, a global digital literacy program through which it plans to partner with agencies from both government and civil society with aims to train more than 5 million people by 2021.―Hindustan Times

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