ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to prevent harassment and bullying of women on social media through a policy framework and by creating awareness to help them raise their voice against abusive behaviour and vile trolling.

The Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit (PMSRU) organised a virtual workshop on Friday in collaboration with the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) cybercrime unit to support and facilitate women in repor­ting bullying on social media.

The meeting decided to set up a forum for raising awareness and timely resolving cybercrime cases under the supervision of the reforms unit and the FIA.

Salman Sufi, who heads the PMSRU, noted during the meeting that there was growing violence and instances of cyber-bullying in society. “Exclusion and impersonation against women are global social issues, where abuse is afflicted systematically, persistently and is often tolerated, if not explicitly condoned,” he said in his opening remarks.

“It can leave a permanent trauma on a woman whereby public memory of shaming and blaming can lead to distress such as anxiety and depression due to the fears of shaming, humiliation, harassment and stigma associated with cyberbullying and mental health challenges,” he added.

Resource persons of FIA, an additional director and a deputy director sensitised the forum about the policy framework and reporting mechanisms for cybercrime and encouraged women to not stay silent on such instances and instead raise their voice and report such cases to help eradicate cyberbullying.

Published in Dawn, September 24th, 2022

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