Online actions, offline harms: Case studies on gender and cybersecurity in North Macedonia and the Western Balkans

“We should not aim for the security of cyberspace but for security in cyberspace.”

The book explores the intersection between gender and cybersecurity across the Western Balkans. Six case studies analyze how women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people have been pushed out of cyberspaces by abuses that violate their rights. Researchers from these economies delve into the forms and effects of online violence on women and girls, in both cyberspace and the real world, as well as how anti-LGBTQ+ narratives in online spaces are impacting the legal realization of their rights. The book not only raises awareness but also offers solutions aiming to consolidate a human-centric approach to cybersecurity.

The rise of hate online: Hate speech in cyber space targeted at women in North Macedonia

Chapter 5, namely The rise of hate online: Hate speech in cyber space targeted at women in North Macedonia is based on a research conducted in North Macedonia aimed at identifying the gendered component of reported cases of online hate speech and exploring discrepancies in the treatment of these cases by authorities in North Macedonia. The research builds on earlier research which produced a mapping of human rights issues related to cybersecurity, with a focus on the right to privacy, freedom of expression, protection from discrimination, and freedom of assembly, published in 2022.

The Western Balkans Cybersecurity Research Network, to which Metamorphosis Foundation is a member, has undertaken innovative research in this field with the support of the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Through independent research, advocacy, and raising public awareness, the network aims to contribute to the governance of the cybersecurity sector according to the principles of good governance and international human rights standards.

The views and conclusions expressed in this study belong to the authors and the Metamorphosis Foundation and do not necessarily reflect the views of DCAF and FCDO. The copyright on this publication belongs solely to Metamorphosis Foundation. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Metamorphosis Foundation.



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