• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Christian group launches initiative to fight gender-based violence

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Journalists for Christ International Outreach (JFC) Nigeria and the World Association for Christian Communication, Africa Region (WACC-AR) has announced the launch of a tech-driven, advocacy project on ‘Countering misogyny and Tech-facilitated gender-based violence’ across the continent.

The initiative, which is supported by WACC Global and Brot fur die Welt (Bread for the World – German Protestant Agency for Diaconia Development, aims to change public perception and stereotypes about girls and women by fostering actions to curb tech-facilitated gender-based violence, tech- facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV), and other related oppressive actions against girls and women within the digital sphere.

In a statement signed by Ugonma Cokey, vice president, JFC and project lead, the group disclosed that the project will be implemented through a series of strategic actions that include monitoring of online content, producing counter-narratives, undertaking virtual interfaces with journalists, and gender advocates, as well as facilitating alliances and advocacy actions to mitigate gender-based violence (GBV) in the digital spaces.

According to the group, GBV has been translated from the traditional forms to online, and it is essential that the rights of women are upheld at all times. “Over the years, GBV has manifested in diverse forms as a tool to silence the voice and rights of women. Related to these, are the subtle overt forms of violence that limit women’s communication rights on digital platforms”.

The group stated further that as society developed and became technology-driven, GBV has also translated from the traditional forms to other forms of online violence across the digital spaces. “The digitally driven violence against women, which is also referred to as ‘Tech- facilitated Gender-Based Violence’ (TFGBV) include such acts as cyber bullying, secret recordings of sexual scenes, the non-consensual distribution of intimate images, name calling, surveillance, amongst others.”

The group disclosed further that the project shall undertake a baseline/think-tank discourse on the context and prevalence of TFGBV in Nigeria, drawing expert and situational contexts from other African countries like Liberia, Kenya, Togo and Cameroon and conduct online monitoring exercise to document the trends of TFGBV in Nigeria.

“In driving the actions, perspectives from a cluster of women/girls groups shall be harnessed to give deepened and real-time perspective on existing contexts of misogyny and TFGBV, which shall provide inferences for the production and dissemination of digital narratives to mitigate GBV (offline/online) in Nigeria.

“During the implementation of this project, JFC will partner with relevant gender-focused/supportive CSOs, bloggers/users of social media platforms to combat TFGBV and embark on advocacy actions and engagement with media and institutional stakeholders on key policy actions.

“At the end, the project is expected to galvanise public support for gender rights through digital products as counter-narratives on GBV (online/offline) and also deepen the role of media stakeholders (print, broadcast, online journalists/bloggers) in combating TFGBV, hate speech online and related indices through gender-supportive reporting,” the statement reads.