African governments urged to combat abuses, bullying online of women  

Governments in Africa have been urged to combat women abuses and bullying in the cyber space proactively, as they advance in digital technology.

That, they can achieve if the Heads of State on the continent understand the dynamics and intricacies, accept the magnitude of cybercrime and thereby review and make existing laws punitive enough.

Participants, attending the 11th Digital Rights and Inclusive Forum 2024 (DRIF24), gave the advice during group sessions, and insisted on the need for governments on the continent to prioritise and help combat online violence against women.

Hundreds of delegates, civil society actors and organisations as well as NGOs and academia, drawn from 61 countries across the world are attending the three-day forum on the theme” fostering rights and inclusion in the digital age”.

Paradigm Initiative (PIN), a Pan African organisation and its partners in Ghana, including E-Governance and Internet Governance Foundation for Africa (EGIGFA), University of Media, Arts and Communication are organising the forum.

The other partners are the Media Foundation for West Africa, Inclusive Tech Group, Internet Society (ISOC) Ghana Chapter, and Human Security Research Centre (HSRC).

Wikimedia, African Digital Rights Network, Ford Foundation, Luminate, Google, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mott Foundation, Open Technology Fund (OTF), Internews and Small Media are the event sponsors.

Ndeye Fatuo Diouf, Digital Content Manager, Senegal-based Afric Tivistes, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) regretted that though cybercrimes, especially women abuse, and bullying remained serious offences, some governments in Africa had not shown any political will to arrest the situation.

Women victims of digital abuses and bullying go through serious emotional and psychological trauma and that remain inimical to their growth and development, she said.

According to Ebere Ifendu, the President and Founder, Nigerian-based Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), urged young women in politics to also remain active on social media.

That would enable them to identify and help enact realistic laws and policy frameworks that would guide or govern the use and thereby bring sanity to the internet space.

Ifendu noted that general effects of online violence on remained enormous and urged governments in Africa to prioritise sanctions and help bring the situation under the barest minimum.

However, Rokhaya Tine, Responsible for Communications, Patef Senegal, another CSO said women could do more for themselves in fighting the crime if platforms were provided for them to share their stories and learn lessons.

Source: GNA

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