Gendered perception of the Internet in Pakistan – study

Media Matters for Democracy published a study ’The Internet as we see it: Gendered perceptions from Pakistan’. It looks into understanding the Internet perception of Pakistani users, in specific through the ‘lens of gender’. The findings show that both male and female users see  the Internet as a source of information, entertainment, and a platform to connect and express personal and professional views. When it comes to challenges online they all underlined the issues of data privacy, misinformation, and polarisation. However, the results clearly show that when it comes to the ‘nature and prevalence of harassment on the Internet’ perceptions are different: male and female participants agree harassment was a prevalent issue on the Internet, where men are largely the perpetrators in issues of harassment, but disagreed on the extent of harassment women faced online; women feel the consequences for harassment and threats on the Internet could have ‘serious ramifications for them’, while men are less likely to believe that they would censor or restrict themselves due to harassment. The recommendation goes for improvement of the implementation of harassment safeguards in the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act. The study has been supported by Digital Rights Monitor, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), and SIDA.