Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Low awareness among women has cited as among the factors of women experiencing online gender-based violence.

This was stated by the Director of Zaina Foundation, Ms Zaituni Njovu, during a tow-day seminar for women journalists in Kilimanjaro region recently aiming to empower women on digital safety.

She said that the lack of legal punishments for people who perpetuate online GBV leads to the escalation of the problem.

“Recently, online GBV has been happening due to various reasons including women themselves being causative of such violence due to the kind of clothes we wear. But, also the content we post when we are online,” she said.

“Poor understanding of what content should go online and what should not, and the lack of laws that protect women online also contribute to the GBV.”

According to her, no tough decisions or legal punishments are taken against people who harass women online.

In another development, she urged women to use social networks properly to avoid acts of violence online.

She also urged various institutions to enable women to understand digital rights and use the networks safely.

To eliminate or reduce the problem, the Zaina Foundation provides education to various women groups to help them post proper content that attracts, inspires and educates people positively rather than posting contents that humiliate them.

However, she requested the government to manage the existing laws so that women can be protected when using social media platforms.

“We (women) must be united so that when you see your fellow woman face violence online, take action to defend her to stop online violence against women,” she said

One of the participants of the seminar, Ms Fadhila Omari, said that the training will help them to improve the way they conduct their activities and ensure that they remain safe as women journalists.

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