8 of 10 urban Indian women now using internet but harassment, trolling key concerns: Local Circles survey

New Delhi: As many as 8 in 10 urban Indian women are now using internet for a range of activities, but many struggle with online harassment, abuse, trolling, and want action to be taken for making internet safer, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

The survey revealed that 76 per cent of urban Indian women are using internet to stay in touch with family and friends, while 57 per cent are using it for finding information, and for entertainment.

Nearly 83 per cent of those surveyed believe more actions need to be taken to make it safer for women to use the internet without being trolled, harassed, abused, facing extortion and fraud, LocalCircles release said detailing the findings of the survey.

“Key concerns of urban Indian women when using the internet include online sexual harassment, trolling, abuse, extortion and fraud,” the survey said.

The survey received over 23,000 responses from citizens located in 301 urban districts of India, the release said, adding that 61 per cent respondents were men while 39 per cent respondents were women.

“48 per cent respondents were from tier 1, 35 per cent from tier 2 and 17 per cent respondents were from tier 3 & 4 districts,” it said.

On being asked ‘What all should be done to make the internet a safer space for women by reducing trolling, harassment, abuse, extortion and fraud’, a total of 13,238 responded with many choosing more than one option.

“46 per cent respondents favoured ‘Women Cyber Grievance hotline (web and phone) should be started by the Central Government which responds within 24 hours of complaint and evidence submission’; 60 per cent respondents prioritised ‘National Women Cyber Grievance hotline should coordinate with the local police to drive timely action while ensuring zero police harassment of the complainant’; 40 per cent of respondents wanted ‘mandatory action by all platforms with a presence in India within 24 hours of submission of evidence’,” the survey said.

LocalCircles said it will be sharing the survey findings with the central government ministries, that is, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Electronics and IT and the parliamentary committees on IT, and Women and Children for further action.



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