Kampala, 23rd October 2020; Unwanted Witness has today held an online (Facebook Live) debate on violence against women online, themed Access to Justice for survivors of Online Violence Against Women.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has seen an increase in the number of online users and women are realizing the potential of the internet as well as challenges. These challenges range from getting friend requests from strangers to inappropriate and threatening messages from cyber stalkers and non-consensual use or sharing of information.
Violence against women is a form of discrimination against women and a human rights violation falling under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and other international and regional instruments.
Most cases of cyber violence against women and girls go unreported. This is mainly because law enforcement agencies and the courts are failing to take appropriate actions and where the law exists, it has been used to victimize survivors.
“The rapid spread of the internet means that at a national level, effective legal and social controls of online anti-social and criminal behaviors continue to be an immense challenge. This therefore calls for rigorous oversight and enforcement of rules banning technology assisted violence against women and girls if the internet is to become a safe, respectful and empowering space for girls and young women” said Dorothy Mukasa the Executive Director of Unwanted Witness.
As Unwanted witness, we realized the need to safeguard online enjoyment of digital rights and privacy of women in order to guarantee safety of online spaces and equal enjoyment of internet freedom in Uganda. To that end, together with the Women@Web project we initiated the Safe Online Spaces Campaign with support of DW Akademie.
As part of a series of Safe Online Spaces Campaign activities to be carried on this year, the online debate seeks to discuss possible solutions to a rather rampant problem of internet-based violence against women in order to improve cybercrime policy and enforcement, digital security and literacy in Uganda.
The debate that was conducted live on Unwanted Witness’s Facebook page and featured distinguished panelists that included;
- Jackie Namataka Deweyi- An award winning Journalist
- Ms Agnes Nabafu – Senior Magistrate Jinja
- Mr Mondo Kyateka-Assistant Commissioner Youth and Children Affairs
- Ms Maureen Atuhaire- Gender Based Violence Unit Uganda Police
And was moderated by NTV’s Josephine Karungi
About Unwanted Witness
The Unwanted Witness is a civil society organization (CSO) that was established to respond to the gap in effective communication using various online expression platforms.