Women call for digital technology literacy programs to address online gender based violence.

16 November 2023, 1:50 pm

According to the study by women of Uganda Network -WOUGNET, Jinja has the highest cases of online gender-based violence (GBV), The research, which was conducted in 2020, revealed that 99.7% of females were affected by online GBV, compared to 0.3% of males.

Fancy Sheila Aromacach who is an African feminist says, women’s contribution to economy using social media platforms is enough to be respected. Many women are carrying out business on social media performs such Facebook, Tiktok and X and therefore bullying and harassing them should not be tolerated. “The internet now is a tool for everyone to use, it should be safe free and safe from the abusers targeting women’’ Fancy said

Fancy added that, the government and civil society organizations should carry out digital literacy to women in telecommunication sector, women in markets, media and to female university students among others.

According to Sandra Aceng, the Executive Director of Women of Uganda Network WOUGNET, Say; they receive many complaints of women who say images of women posted on social media against their consent. Furthermore she says the most online violence registered are sexual harassment, cyber bullying and backlash.

Sandra Aceng ; Diretor WOUGNET

Uganda had by far the largest gender gap in internet access among four countries included in the survey of women’s online experiences. In Ghana, which also featured in the study, men were just 6% more likely to be online than women, compared with 43% in Uganda. Total internet use in Uganda remains low at 23% of the population, while Ghana has reached 30%. (African Media Agency AMA)

According to the study by WOUGNET, most females  still have not yet known if they are facing online gender based violence, ‘’ We did a study in 2023 where we interviewed journalists, university students, politicians and local women , we found there is no uniform term to mean online  violence. Some call it Technology facilitated violence, Online violence against girls and women and others so, we need to have a uniform term” Sandra said.

WOUGNET organization challenges the Government to prioritize online gander based violence to track and charge perpetrators, put strong mechanisms in form of policies to calm down the raising vice.

Elizabeth kemigisha, the advocacy manager at FIDA Uganda,  says many online cases reported face a delay in hearing which also delays justice hence the perpetrators remain unchallenged, ‘’we call upon the judicially to have a positive response to be able to help women who fall victims of this vice’’  Kemigisha said