Women Doctors Got Sexually Harassed During E-Consultations And Websites Tried To Cover It Up. Why Aren’t Women Safe Anywhere?
When I was a girl, I’d often be told how the world in a big bad place for women, where they must be careful all the time. As I have grown up, the cautionary warning remains almost the same, with the slight change of how we must also be wary of the digital world for it is no different. In fact, it’s even worse when it comes to women safety. As the world shifted on its axis in this pandemic to turn more digital, numerous accounts of women being harassed online surfaced, and we are not surprised. From unsolicited texts, video calls to even hacking online conferences, it seems like women aren’t safe anywhere. Not even when it comes to taking online consultations from women doctors.
Turns out, websites that offer medical e-consultations have now become the home ground for sexual harassment activities against women. Be it random flashing, masturbation on video or sending across disturbing and cheap messages, rather than reporting such instances to the authorities or police, the websites seem to be pushing these under the rug.
Allegedly covering up such cases of harassment, there are reasons to believe that websites have tried to keep it under wraps while putting in measures to check such incidents, although with little success.
As we continue to spend our time online amidst the pandemic, more people are susceptible to online harassment – notably women. Read about the recent uptick in online abuse against women in this article via @Reuters: https://t.co/BS6cUkmj7W
— Stand Together for Online Protections (@CAStandTogether) December 27, 2020
Also Read : This Girl Discovered Her Father Was Cheating While Using His Phone For Online Classes. Yikes.
The regulations for the websites however state that in case of telemedicine and online consultation, “both patient and the registered medical practitioner (RMP) need to know each other’s identity”. Of course no one follows that. In fact, most websites put you through to a practitioner within a few minutes of registering, without keeping in mind the two parties getting acquainted.
People have stooped down to the lowest levels, with men registering as female patients and the women doctors only realising it much later during the conversation. Even if the patient gets blocked by one doctor, these perpetrators move on to target other doctors, for the website doesn’t flag them after they get blocked.
Online harassment is having a huge and growing impact on women’s lives. We need to hold social media firms to account and push for greater protections for women online. Please donate today to help make 2021 a better year for women. https://t.co/wIAUE1r3kO
Thank you! pic.twitter.com/OUr9W8OjyM
— Womenscouncilireland (@NWCI) December 22, 2020
Speaking on the matter, a doctor shared, “It’s very traumatising, especially the first time when it happened. Most of these calls happen at night and so now we have requested the company to have mostly male doctors on call at night. They have also stopped allowing unlimited consultation calls for a monthly subscription. That has brought down the number of such calls we face.”
Despite several regulations being placed, the lack of scrutiny has made it awfully difficult for women to navigate such platforms, without feeling targeted or attacked. A doctor even said, “This cannot be normalised as part of our job. We are more careful now and can sense when a person is not a genuine patient and cut the call immediately, block the person and inform the company. But we should not have to put up with this. For a call that does not translate into a prescription we don’t even get paid any commission.”
Hopefully, keeping in mind the troubles that doctors and women are facing on such platforms, stricter efforts would be put into place to ensure a safer environment during e consultations.