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Enhancing Women’s Rights Online through Inclusive and Effective Response to Online Gender-Based Violence in Uganda.

Funder: Digital Human Rights Lab (DHRLab)

Partner: Makerere University School of Women and Gender Studies.

Project Overview

Online gender-based violence experienced by women in Uganda remains the most ignored form of violence at personal, societal, and policy levels, yet it causes real and more harmful attacks, threats, and intimidation to women like all other forms of violence that are highly condemned under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This harm exists because the internet is dominated by patriarchy and allows widespread anonymity which grants perpetuators absolute power to shame, ridicule, and torture women in any way they feel like doing. Between March to October 2021, WOUGNET conducted nationwide research on the types, spread, and impact of online gender-based violence on women’s rights online to produce a research report for knowledge sharing and policy advocacy. The study was conducted in the five administrative regions of Uganda that is to say; Northern, Eastern, Western, Central, and Southern specifically in the districts of Lira, Jinja, Kampala, Kabarole, and Kabale. The tool testing was conducted in the Wakiso district to ensure the accuracy and consistency of the online gender-based violence survey tools developed. The findings of the research study were used to innovatively organize the digital security and online safety capacity-building training for women journalists/bloggers, politicians, law enforcement officers, and University students. Awareness creation was done using the smart media technologies popularly accessed and used in Uganda that improved the current online situation for female internet users. Additionally, Radio jingles were played on 6 radio stations located in the 5 administrative regions of Uganda for two weeks using five local languages widely spoken in Uganda to create awareness of online gender-based violence and influence key behaviors, actions, and attitudes that impact the most vulnerable and excluded children and their families for positive outcomes. This was able to enhance women’s rights online through creating an enabling environment for inclusive and effective response to online gender-based violence in Uganda.

Project Duration: March 2021- November 2021

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