Gendered disinformation: How should democracies respond to this threat?

Gndered disinformation is a form of violence particularly used against politically active women: the weaponisation of gendered stereotypes to attack and undermine women’s position in public life. It poses a serious barrier to gender justice and democracy online, but is not being widely recognised in policy responses to online harms and building a better web.

Against the backdrop of the updated EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, the Digital Services Act and the UK’s Online Safety Bill, Demos is partnering with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union office in Brussels to look at how the EU and UK should respond to the threat of gendered disinformation undermining women’s participation in democracy.

This event will discuss the questions: how can we improve responses to gendered disinformation online? What can platforms do better? What government regulation may be needed, and are the current proposals on the table sufficient? How can international cooperation support better responses to gendered disinformation? And how can we best support those affected by gendered disinformation?


Welcome by Eva van de Rakt, Director, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union, Brussels

Speakers will include:

  • Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Member of the European Parliament (The Greens/EFA), member of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the EU, including Disinformation, and substitute member of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
  • Alexandra Geese, Member of the European Parliament (The Greens/EFA), shadow rapporteur for the Digital Services Act
  • Shmyla Khan, Research and Policy Director, Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
  • Maria Giovanna Sessa, Researcher, EU Disinfo Lab
  • Kristina Wilfore, Co-Founder, #ShePersisted

Chair: Ellen Judson, Senior Researcher, CASM (Centre for the Analysis of Social Media) at Demos