Women and Girls in the Digital World

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

“Women and Girls in the Digital World: Gender-based Cyber Violence” Workshop
Tuesday, March 14, 9:00-11:00 am Eastern Standard Time

Facilitated by Baptist World Alliance Women and the FoRB Women’s Alliance, this session will feature a panel of experts to address the state of women and girls in the digital world. While digital transformation can enhance gender equality and provide new avenues for women’s economic empowerment that will help boost economic growth, technological advancement also has a dark side. It has created a dangerous space by providing, often with impunity, fertile ground for gender-based cyber violence (including cyber stalking, trolling, cyber harassment, bullying, and beyond). With the ever-growing use of social media, the threats women and girls experience online affect how they are able to use the internet and participate in their societies – making this topic more critical than ever to address.


Judith Golub is a co-founder of FoRB Women’s Alliance, along with Lou Ann Sabatier and Farahnaz Isphahani. She is a skilled leader and activist with a keen grasp of coalition building and congressional grassroots and media advocacy. Golub has over 40 years of experience as an advocate, planner, researcher and project manager. She is an independent consultant and the Director of Strategy and Planning at the Religion News Foundation/Religion News Service. Before that, Golub directed Congressional Affairs and Policy and Planning at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF); the Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); and the Legislative Director at the American Jewish Committee (AJC).


Cathryn Grothe is a Research Analyst at Freedom House. She covers the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for Freedom in the World, Freedom on the Net, and Election Watch for the Digital Age. Her research focuses on technology, democracy, and human rights in the MENA region. Grothe’s writing has been published in various regional and international outlets. Prior to joining Freedom House, Grothe worked at Women Deliver on issues related to humanitarian advocacy, gender-based violence, and refugee rights. She has extensive experience working with civil society organizations in Lebanon on gender equality programming. Grothe holds a M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in political science and public health from New York University.

Dr. Ewelina U. Ochab is a human rights advocate, author and co-founder of the Coalition for Genocide Response. Ochab works on the topic of genocide, with specific focus on the persecution of ethnic and religious minorities around the world, with main projects including the Daesh genocide in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram atrocities in West Africa, the situation of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and of the Uyghurs in China. Ochab has written over 30 reports for the UN (including Universal Periodic Review reports) and has made oral and written submissions at the Human Rights Council, the UN Forum on Minority Issues, PACE and other international and regional fora. Ochab authored the initiative and proposal to establish the UN International Day Commemorating Victims and Survivors of Religious Persecution. The initiative has led to the establishment of the UN International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief on August 22.

Beena Pallical is the General Secretary of Dalit Arthik Adhikar Andolan, coordinates the National Coalition of SCP TSP Legislation, and is Executive Director of South Asia Dalit Women’s Economic Empowerment Program of Asia Dalit Rights Forum. She has been with NCDHR for the last seven years, working on the Dalit Economic Rights with a special focus on Dalit women’s economic rights. She has been passionately working towards policy changes within Central and State governments for the development of Dalit and Adivasi community, demanding inclusion of Dalit Women in the policy formulation. Her main focus of work continues to be on Economic Justice and specifically looking at gender equity and equality. She has led many campaigns in the last seven years and has trained several Dalit and Adivasi women and men on budget rights. She contributed to the overall work of Dalit Rights in NCDHR and participated in several national and international seminars representing the voices of Dalits and Adivasis and advocating stronger policy measures with effective implementation.


Over the last 20 years, Merritt Johnston has been blessed to lead a nonprofit, provide care as a hospital chaplain, guide communications for a seminary, serve with an international broadcast ministry, shepherd women at a multi-site church, and travel the world as a seasoned event speaker. She is currently honored to serve as the Executive Director of Baptist World Alliance Women, a missional network of women in over 150 countries and territories, as well as Director of Communications and Media for the Baptist World Alliance – a world communion of 50 million Baptists across the globe. Merritt and her husband, Jeremy, make their home in Brenham, Texas, USA, along with their three children.


UN Women Report

A research summary and action resource designed to accelerate efforts to tackle online and technology facilitated violence against women and girls.

European Parliament Report

A report addressing gender-based cyber violence as a constantly growing threat with impacts at individual, social and economic levels, on women and girls.

Take It Down

A free service from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help remove online nude or sexually explicit photos and videos taken of minors under the age of 18.