Parallel Event: Policy Dialogue on Digital Safety & Citizenship Development


Social media in today’s times is not only a place to exchange messages but a place of information dissemination, access and global participation. It is an instrument, if used effectively, has the power to harness the potential of the youth and direct them towards civic participation.

However women’s’ and girls’ representation on social media lags significantly behind that of men and boys in India. And COVID19 has deepened this digital divide further. Online harassment and bullying, parental concerns about whom girls are engaging with, and negative online experiences can limit women’s willingness and ability to express themselves well. Many leave the platforms entirely, rather than suffer abuse. In this way, social media has become a place where women’s voices are not adequately represented and women are not fully empowered to participate. This is a cause of great concern and it is essential to build youth capacity to engage safely and effectively in online activities and to foster effective stakeholder and government response to create an enabling environment for women’s online participation. For this purpose CSR is organizing a panel discussion with experts in the field, to effectively identify the issues on the ground and help us build a concrete plan for combating them.

CSR aims to publish a recommendation document as a result of this discussion and address it to all stakeholders responsible for making a positive change, like government agencies, media organizations, educational institutions, CSOs and individual activists


Anne Collier

Anne Collier is founder and executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative and founder/writer at NetFamilyNews.org. A youth advocate with more than 20 years’ writing and speaking about youth and digital media, Anne currently serves on the Trust & Safety advisories of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Paris-based Yubo. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the US’s National Association for Media Literacy Education. During social media’s first decade, she served on three national task forces on Internet safety, including as co-chair of the Obama administration’s 2009 Online Safety & Technology Working Group. She has authored or contributed to a number of books on the subject, most recently Bullying: Perspectives, Practice and Insights (Council of Europe, 2017). In 2016, she gave a TEDx talk on “The Heart of Digital Citizenship” at the ITU’s World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva. Anne’s first career was journalism, in print, radio and TV—all analog until she served as the Christian Science Monitor’s first Web editor in the late ‘90s. A Boston native, she now resides in Salt Lake City. Read more..

Dr. Shruti Kapoor

Dr. Shruti is an economist, women’s rights activist, and social entrepreneur. Currently, Dr. Kapoor is the founder of Sayfty, an initiative that aims to educate and empower young women and girls against all forms of violence. It also uses self-defense training, digital media, and storytelling to promote the unquestionable right of women to live their lives in safety. Earlier, Dr. Kapoor has worked with International organizations such as The World Bank and UN Women. She has been an active member of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development Working Group on Youth and Gender Equality Task Force, and served on the core organizing committee of UN’s Youth Forum for the Commission on the Status of Women 2017. She has many accolades to her name as she was named by Apolitical as one of the most influential people in global policy in 2019. The Indian Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2019 honored Dr. Kapoor as one of the “30 #WebWonderWomen“ who have been driving a positive agenda of social change via social media. In 2016, The White House nominated Dr. Kapoor as a change-maker for The United State of Women’s Summit 2016, and in India, in 2015 Femverstising awarded the “People’s Choice Award” to Sayfty for their campaign promoting gender equality. Dr. Kapoor resides in New York and is dedicated to media, digital and traditional approaches to strive for gender equality and gender responsive implementation of the “Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Marlyn Tadros

She is the founder of Virtual Activism – and its project MENGOs [Middle East NGOs: Center for Knowledge Society] – both of which were pioneering projects that dealt with the intersection between technology and human rights and development. She currently organizes training workshops in technology and human rights in several countries around the world, with special focus on the Middle East. She is also author of numerous papers on the Middle East with several publications in both English and Arabic on issues ranging from human rights to education, technology and social media.

Earlier, Dr. Tadros was Deputy Director of the Legal Research and Resource Center for Human Rights in Cairo, Egypt, and Executive Director of the National Steering Committee of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development which took place in Cairo in 1994. She continues to be involved in human rights issues in the Arab World. She also served on the Board of Directors of Grassroots International, Boston, and other human rights-related organizations and has been appointed to the International Fellowships Panel of the American Association of University Women. Dr. Marlyn has been a trailblazing human rights defender from Egypt who currently lives in the US.

Read more..

Lucy Thomas

Growing up, Lucy Thomas always figured that “someone should really do something about bullying.” Then she realised: I am that someone. Now, more than a decade after launching PROJECT ROCKIT, Lucy has dedicated her whole life to the cause. As a keynote speaker and facilitator, Lucy has personally worked with hundreds of thousands of young people all over the world, from Wangaratta to Texas, Wollongong to Auckland, Atherton to Perth. Her work has been honoured by UNICEF, The University of Melbourne, The Foundation of Young Australians, the global Family Online Safety Institute and Lucy is recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for her service to youth and the issue of bullying.

But after building her career tackling bullying, Lucy’s life was fundamentally changed when she became the target of an extended pattern of bullying herself. Instead of hiding away, Lucy took this as an opportunity to connect with even young Aussies and launch herself into advocating for her LGBTIQA+ community. She made global headlines in 2016 when she stood up to a homophobic Uber driver and it went viral (watch her interview with the The Project here). Lucy has since wrapped these personal learnings into her widely received TEDx talk, Kindness: The ultimate rebellion against bullying.

With a blended academic background in Psychology and Creative Arts, Lucy is a mighty force of kindness, equipped with the precious ability to creatively engage young people to generate positive social change.
Read more..

Dr. Ranjana Kumari

A renowned social activist and a prolific academician, Dr. Ranjana Kumari is the Director of Centre for Social Research as well as Chairperson of Women Power Connect. Dr. Kumari has dedicated her life to empowering women across the South Asia region, and is also a prolific writer of many well‐known publications. Dr. Kumari went to school in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Her paternal grandfather, a freedom fighter, Pandit Vishwanath Sharma, was the founder member of the famous Kashi Vidyapith of Varanasi, which was the first modern University organised by Indians in British India. After finishing her schooling, she moved to Delhi and did her MA, M.Phil and Ph.D in Political Science from Jawahar Lal Nehru University.

Her foray into social work was initiated by her concern for a dowry death that took place near her home in 1976. This led to her activism on world famous publication “Brides are not for Burning”.

She has served as the Coordinator of the South Asia Network Against Trafficking (SANAT) in Persons and is a member of the Central Advisory Board on “Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Tests Act, 2001”, as well as the Central Advisory Committee for Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children. Some of her most passionate causes have been the participation of women in democracy and governance, the termination of dowry practices and dowry‐related violence, and the abolition of female foeticide. Read more..


Jyoti Vadehra

Jyoti heads the Media and Communications Division at Centre for Social Research, India, where she leads Online Safety and Digital Citizenship projects. These projects work to actualize a safe online world for all users, especially women and children. As a moderator for this event, she aims to bring forth a strong dialogue on the issues of Digital Wellbeing and Youth Participation. This global panel and their expertise will help give strength to the work already being carried out and CSR and help India get a seat at the table on all international forums serving the purpose.