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Webinar: Expressions in Shackles – Women’s Rights and Free Speech in the Digital World

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Expressions in Shackles: Women’s Rights and Free Speech in the Digital World

Date: Tuesday, 16 February 2021
Time: 1-3 PM (GMT+7)
Register at:

The right to freedom of speech and expression is quickly becoming one of the most contested and restricted issues around the world today. It is evident that the enjoyment of the freedom of expression and freedom of information- to speak freely, participate in public debate, report the news safely and securely and harness digital technology- are influenced by sex, sexuality and gender.

While digital spaces bring about new opportunities, they also create new forms of threats and violence that have a disproportionate impact on women. Globally, it is estimated that women were 27 times more likely to be harassed online.

As information (and expressions) is power, across the world, research and trends show that being female, or identifying as a woman and/or LGBTQI person, results in a greater likelihood of poverty, oppression, and exclusion from spheres of public interaction and decision-making.

Organised by FORUM-ASIA and Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW),  this  public webinar aims to:

  • Discuss current perspectives and overview of the situation on freedom of speech and expression in offline and online spaces in the Asian region;
  • Look into the impacts of social media on freedom of expression of women human rights defenders and activists;
  • Highlight the impact of hate speech on vulnerable communities including Rohingya women;
  • Explore feminist approaches on the use of technology, media, data and social media and its impact on women’s freedom of expression.


  • Rachel Arini Judhistari, East-Asia and ASEAN Programme Manager, FORUM-ASIA
  • Wai Wai Nu, Founder and Director, Women Peace Network, Myanmar
  • Bernice Lata, Legal Rights Officer, Fiji Women’s Rights Movement
  • Nana Abuelsoud, Researcher, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

Closing Remarks: Judit Arenas, Senior Advisor to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Opinion and Expression

Moderator: Maya Indira Ganesh, ARROW Board Member

About the organisers:

  • The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)is a Bangkok-based regional network of 81 member organisations across 21 Asian countries, with consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity-development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has sub-regional offices in Geneva, Jakarta, and Kathmandu.
  • The Asian-Pacific Resource& Research Center for Women (ARROW) is a regional non-profit women’s NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Natio Since it was established in 1993, it has been working to advance women’s health, affirmative sexuality and rights, and empower women through information and knowledge, engagement, advocacy and mobilisation.


For more information, please contact: Evelynne Gomez, ARROW, [email protected]; or East Asia-ASEAN Programme, FORUM-ASIA, [email protected]

For media inquiries, please contact: Melissa Ananthraj, Communication and Media Programme Manager, FORUM-ASIA at [email protected]