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The Role of Social Media: An enabler in Voicing Women’s concerns in the Digital Age

WOUGNET being an organization that embraces the significance and impact of ICT in empowering women for sustainable Development, it invests in managing its social media platforms as a crucial factor in amplifying its mission and vision. Throughout the first quarter, WOUGNET has used its social media platforms as a tool to advocate for the digital rights for all especially women’s rights online through timely engagement with its audience on its social media platforms.  Following the trend of  the 2011 and 2016 internet shut down that was declared around the election time, WOUGNET joined Access now and other organizations that value digital rights to write an open letter of appeal to the president of Uganda claiming for internet freedom and other digital communications tools during the 2021 general election. WOUGNET further used its Twitter account to run the #KeepItOn campaign that initiated by Access Now to ensure increased participation and transparency in Uganda’s presidential elections. In this campaign, we tasked the government to ensure that internet freedom including social media and other digital communication platforms remained open, inclusive and secure across the country throughout the election period.

As a member of the Women’s Situation Room steering committee, WOUGNET used its social media handles to promote peace during the 2021 general elections. As the entire world celebrated the International Data Privacy Day on the 28th of January 2021, WOUGNET, used its social media handles to call upon women to ensure their safety and privacy online using the #OwnYourPrivacy hashtag and also provided them with information on how to ensure their privacy. WOUGNET has used its social media platforms to promote the work of other digital rights and Women Rights organizations as a sign of solidarity with a noble cause of creating a sense of need to embrace ICT for women and promotion of digital rights in general. This has been achieved through retweeting and sharing trending campaigns and/or Hashtags that are being run by other organizations for example #ICT4dev.

In celebration of the International Women’s Day (#IWD2021), WOUGNET used its social media platforms to join various of organizations to celebrate the international women’s day by engaging in the #IChooseToChallenge2021 campaign.  WOUGNET also participated in an online session in which the Executive Director shared knowledge on how to engage better with social media and ICTs in collaboration with the #UNMerit, #SITE4Society and Friend in Need India and also used it as a platform to share WOUGNET’s work on the topic of digitalization and violence against women and girls. As a result of our prompt and efficient engagement in social media platforms especially twitter which is a highly embraced social media platform for advocacy campaigns, by 16th March, 2021 WOUGNET had reached 5000+ followers on twitter. The increase of followers on our twitter platform indicates an increase in the visibility and impact of WOUGNET’s efforts in reaching our mission to promote and support the use of ICTs among women and women’s rights organizations in Uganda for sustainable development.

Written by Nampiima Maria Gorret, Program Assistant; Information Sharing and Networking Program. 

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