Why does cybersecurity matter for gender equality? Gender impacts the ability of women and LGBTQI+ individuals to access the Internet, creating a gender digital divide—one that is more prevalent for individuals in developing countries. Gender also impacts users’ experiences with the Internet and, by extension, their relationship to cybersecurity. Cyber attacks have different effects on women and members of the LGBTQI+ community because the same harmful gender norms that control and constrain their behavior in the offline world are often replicated or even exacerbated online. What is especially alarming is that gender norms can also lead to technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV), which has the dual effect of actively harming individuals and groups while also disincentivizing them from using the Internet and other digital tools. Not only can TFGBV further widen the gender digital divide, it can also lead to physical violence offline and other serious psychological, social, and economic impacts for women and LGBTQI+ individuals.

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