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MPs working on plan to make online space safer for women

Government officials, particularly of the IT and women and child development (WCD) ministries, informed the members through presentations about the steps being taken to make perusal of online crimes, such as stalking and harassment of women, easier.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 22, 2019, 08.07 AM IST
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The members also decided to visit police stations to find out how cybercrime cases against women are dealt with.
NEW DELHI: The parliamentary committee on women empowerment, which met on Thursday to discuss cybercrimes, has decided to meet all stakeholders, including social media companies and legal bodies, for an integrated plan to make online space safer for women.

Government officials, particularly of the IT and women and child development (WCD) ministries, informed the members through presentations about the steps being taken to make perusal of online crimes, such as stalking and harassment of women, easier.

After deliberations, the committee decided to talk to the social media companies and enquire about the steps being taken on their part. The panel will also consult police and legal authorities on the right interpretation and implementation of the law.

“A lot of relationships these days are on Facebook. Women from smaller towns should particularly be aware about how their information and pictures can be misused,” a member said, adding the priority of the committee was ‘to look at ways women are targeted and find suitable solutions’.

The members also decided to visit police stations to find out how cybercrime cases against women are dealt with. “In many cases policemen don’t take complaints filed by women on online harassment seriously. They advise you to block and move on. That is not the right way to address it,” another member said.

The member said the need for the ‘policy to show results on the ground’ was expressed. “Across websites and social media platforms, there is stalking, malicious impersonation, threats, rape videos and photographs. It was felt that the social media companies should also take responsibility for these crimes,” the member said.

The government, an official said, was working on an integrated safety plan, with inputs from IT, home, law and WCD ministries, and is also looking at state models. The WCD ministry is planning to set up ‘one-stop centre’ in every district to help women, where they can get police assistance, medical aid, psycho-social counselling, legal aid/counselling and even temporary stay for five days.
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