African countries should pay more attention to online gender based violence

By Annah Nafula

Experts say lack of data may be a hindrance to intervention on the increased domestic violence during this COVID-19 induced lock down.

In a report released by a Civic technology organization, Pollicy and partners, it was discovered that 75% of women interviewed were suffering from mental stress and anxiety due to online violence, 50% of the people who participated this survey and had reported the experience to social media platforms had no resolution, about 66% of the women who were offended opted to block their perpetrators while 20 % chose to ignore them.

The report released on online gender based violence also indicated that most of the countries across Africa do not have specific legislation and strategies against this nature of violence.

Now the founder of Pollicy Neema Iyer says that as an organization they are trying to understand how online gender based violence manifests across Africa and how technology companies that are most not in Africa can respond to these cases.

Neema, therefore proposes that digital security resources be availed to local contexts and languages but also be mainstreamed in the educational curricular. She further suggests that law enforcers should be trained on gender sensitive digital safety so as to provide timely assistance.

“Countries should also adopt data protection and privacy laws, as well as ensure that commissions and mechanisms are in place to implement data protection laws.” Says Neema