Unveiling the Dual Impact of AI and Cybersecurity on Women, Peace, and Security in Southeast Asia

AI and Cybersecurity on Women's Peace and Security | CyberPro Magazine

(Source – Women’s Tabloid)

Introduction and Conference Launch

During the “Gen-Forum 2024: Young Leaders for Women’s Peace and Security in Asia and the Pacific” conference held at the Pullman Bangkok Hotel, two significant research projects were unveiled. These projects, spearheaded by UN Women and the United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU Macau), delve into the interplay between artificial intelligence (AI), digital security, and their ramifications for Women’s Peace and Security (WPS) in Southeast Asia. The unveiling marked a pivotal moment in addressing the evolving challenges and opportunities in the digital realm concerning gender equality and peace initiatives. Notable attendees included delegates from the governments of Australia and the Republic of Korea, underscoring the international collaboration driving these crucial research endeavors.

AI’s Potential and Pitfalls

The first research project, “Artificial Intelligence and the Women’s Peace and Security in Southeast Asia,” underscores both the promise and peril of AI adoption in the region. While AI presents avenues for economic growth and innovation, its deployment also amplifies existing gender biases and poses security risks, particularly for women’s rights defenders and civil society organizations (CSOs).

The study reveals that without proactive measures, AI could inadvertently exacerbate gender disparities and jeopardize efforts toward sustainable peace and security. Hahm Jeonghan, chargé d’affaires at the South Korean embassy in Bangkok, emphasized the dual nature of online spaces, noting their role in empowering women economically while also exposing them to heightened risks of online violence and harassment. Stephanie Copus Campbell, Australia’s ambassador for gender equality, echoed these sentiments, stressing the urgent need to safeguard women’s rights in the face of evolving technological landscapes.

Cybersecurity Challenges and Solutions

The second research endeavor, “Cybersecurity Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Resilience among Women Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society in Southeast Asia,” sheds light on the gendered nature of cyber threats faced by women’s rights advocates. From online harassment to doxxing, these threats not only impede their work but also endanger their safety and well-being. The report advocates for a holistic approach to cybersecurity, emphasizing the need for gender-sensitive policies, collaborative engagements, and capacity-building initiatives to mitigate risks and safeguard women’s digital rights. Moreover, the research highlights the disproportionate impact of cyber-threats on women’s civil society organizations (WCSOs) compared to their non-gender-focused counterparts, underlining the urgency of tailored interventions to address this disparity.


As security in Southeast Asia navigate the digital age, the imperative to address the intersection of AI, cybersecurity, and women’s security has never been more pressing. The insights gleaned from these research projects serve as a clarion call for concerted action, urging stakeholders to prioritize gender equality in AI development, fortify cybersecurity measures, and empower women in the digital sphere. By heeding these recommendations and fostering inclusive, rights-based approaches, the region can pave the way for a more equitable and secure future for all.

The UN Women and UNU Macau announced plans to disseminate training materials based on the research findings, initially targeting Thailand and Vietnam, with a broader rollout planned for mid-2024. This initiative aims to equip stakeholders with the knowledge and tools needed to address the complex challenges at the nexus of AI, cybersecurity, and women’s security, fostering a more resilient and inclusive digital landscape in Southeast Asia.