Violence against women and girls – whether physical or online – is a serious human rights violation.

menABLE, which stands for “Empower Manpower against gender-based violence online”, is a two-year project co-funded by the European Commission. Its primary objective is to combat online gender-based violence by fostering mutual awareness, tolerance, and respect.

As part of the menABLE project, European Schoolnet is collaborating with Child Focus (Belgium), Center for Digital Youth Care (Denmark), and FORTH (Greece) to address online gender-based violence. Recognising that the active involvement of men and boys is crucial to achieving the project’s goals, the project aims to prevent online gender-based violence by tackling its roots causes and by promoting means of prevention strategies primarily, but not exclusively, targeting boys and young men.

The menABLE project will develop 3 main action pillars:

Violence against women and girls – whether physical or online – is a serious human rights violation. A recent statement published by the European Commission on the International Women’s Day 20221 underlines that one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. One in two have experienced sexual harassment and one in 20 women report having been raped. Gender-based violence (GBV) can include sexual, physical, mental, and economic harm inflicted in public or in private. Research has found that gender-based violence is closely linked to power imbalances between women and men and harmful expressions of masculinities (UN Women, 2016). In this regard it is important to look at the roots of gender stereotyping and to understand and raise awareness about the factors influencing such stereotypes which range from cultural traditions, family, or domestic practices to broader societal and environmental factors such as the sexual objectification of women and girls in media or advertising. All these aspects contribute to harmful gender stereotypes and to normalising gender-based and sexual violence. Other factors that have contributed to amplifying gender-based violence against women are information and communication technologies (ICTs). Indeed, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that one in ten women have experienced some form of cyber violence since the age of 15. As stated in the GREVIO General Recommendation No.1 on the digital dimension of violence against women, “women’s and girls’ experiences of gender-based violence against women in these and other settings have been amplified or facilitated by technology, in particular the technology used in online and digital environments. Information and communication technology (ICT) has enabled the perpetration of violence against women on a scale previously unknown. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has further amplified this’’.

Read and download the menABLE flyer with the project’s key elements.