Topic: Online Violence Against Women
The Internet holds the potential to be an important platform for marginalized groups such as the women folks. It provides an opportunity to make the voice of women heard in cultures where women have been relegated to the background over the years. It is however baffling that gender issues such as online violence against Women are not satisfactorily articulated in Nigeria ICT Policies. A Woman’s inability to feel safe online should be a thing of concern to relevant stakeholders. Online violence against Women is a continuation of existing or already established culture of violence against Women in daily lives in many countries across Africa and this remain a significant barrier to women’s and girls’ ability to take advantage of the opportunities that the online space or ICTs generally provide for the full realization of women’s human rights and development.
According to Jac sm Kee, “Online violence against women is an overt expression of the gender discrimination and inequality that exists offline. Online, it becomes amplified” gender norms; stereotypes and inequality that exist offline are easily replicated online. In conversations that seeks to address human rights issues online, it is important to take into consideration that Women face different forms of online harassment and abuses than men including a disproportionate number of threats of physical violence, name-calling, reputation assasination, death threats, sexual assault threats and rape threats. Sexual exploitation, misogyny, pornography, cyberstalking, blackmail, and more.
There is an urgent need to address issues of online violence against women in Nigeria. Policies must be formulated to ensure the women folks are protected so that Nigerian women and girls may fully and maximally benefit from opportunities and potentials in the online space and as well as become equal actors with the men folks in the online space.
Nana Nwachukwu (@PUREHAIRE) is an IP/IT Lawyer with an interest in emerging technologies, she is the current African Representative of ItechLaw Association. A world organisation of Technology/Communication/IP lawyers. Nana does a lot of things in her spare time.