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Contains information of interest to individual Members, including Membership Statement, New Members' Pack, how to apply for a Memorial Fund Award, Grants of Friendship/Invitations, and Membership Matters.

Contains all the information you need for the running of a Club, eg Membership Forms, Annual Returns, Club Governance, How to Start a New Club.

Contains information related to running a Region/National Association/Network, eg the purpose of Regions/National Associations/Networks, and Region/NA/Network governance documents

Contains documentation to help you communicate your activities, eg Template Press Releases, SIGBI Brand Guidelines and Logos, good examples of Club Promotional Material, How To Guides.

Contains information related to Programme Activities, eg a page for each Programme Area, Commission on the Status of Women, SIGBI Programme Database.

Contains documentation related to the running of the Federation, eg SIGBI Governance, Vision 2021.

Violence and Conflict Resolution

Assistant Programme Director for Violence & Conflict Resolution – Nisha Ghosh

Nisha Ghosh - web

Cybercrime -a New Challenge for Soroptimists

Recognizing the urgency with which issues related to a densely technological world, SI Bangalore had an awareness programme on cybercrime.  Ironically, Bangalore is the birthplace of the IT industry of India. Over a thousand girls and the faculty of a local college attended a half day programme conducted by the Cybercrime Branch of the Police Department. The college was eager to bring this talk on the dangers of social media and several related issues to the students, considered the most vulnerable group.

With the rapid increase of technology, newer and complex issues that affect the society at large are surfacing. Issues that are both elusive yet intrusive and insidious. Cyberspace has become the playing field of crimes that have been difficult to detect or even understand. The exponential growth of internet and social media (with 3.8 billion users worldwide and growing) has brought  a host of new challenges for those investigating and prosecuting terrorism and organized crime cases. How can electronic evidence be produced when it is stored by a service provider in another country? How can electronic evidence be preserved before it is deleted or changed in format? How can data be speedily produced from a service provider to avert an emergency?

But what is cybercrime really and how does it connect with the work Soroptimists do for women and girls?

We are familiar with bullying, harassment, stalking, body-shaming, but when these are coming off cyberspace, we have new words in the vocabulary cyber bullying, cyber harassment, cyber stalking, identity theft and cyber-related gender crimes. Not to forget cyber-enticement, solicitation or online grooming.

Specifically, cybercrimes against women have risen to epidemic proportions. Even more alarming is the fact that 80% of mobile and internet users are the young.

Cybercriminals may use computer technology to access personal information, business trade secrets or use the internet for exploitative or malicious purposes More serious crimes like cyberterrorism are also of significant concern. Transnational human trafficking is booming thanks to electronic connectivity.

As technology advances and more people rely on the internet to store sensitive information such as banking or credit card information and personal data, criminals increasingly attempt to steal that information. Cybercrime is becoming more of a threat to people across the world.

Soroptimists have their role cut out for them. They can raise awareness about how information is being protected and the tactics criminals use to steal that information. Parents, guardians, child educators and civil society can be the agents to spread awareness.

The UNODC agency that monitors cybercrime across borders has sought international cooperation and the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP), have jointly drafted and launched the Practical Guide for Requesting Electronic Evidence Across Borders .

The agency says hopefully, “As criminals continue to exploit the Internet, social media and messaging apps to advance their agendas, we are confident this Practical Guide will provide practitioners with the necessary methods and skills to access the critical electronic evidence needed to prevent, investigate and bring to justice those who seek to undermine the rule of law”

Then there is the point of mainstreaming a gender perspective. UNODC also calls Member States to appropriately mainstream a gender perspective into their criminal justice systems and into efforts to prevent and combat crime, including transnational organized crime.

Anybody who uses the internet for any reason can be a victim, which is why it is important to be aware of how one is being protected while online.

As women in the community, Soroptimists can take up the challenge of spreading awareness about cybercrimes, the changeable nature of evidence and the rapid mobility of information that makes apprehension and eviction almost impossible. Soroptimists have their job cut out for them as in Bangalore so anywhere in the world.

Nisha Ghosh
Assistant Programme Director
Violence and Conflict Resolution