International Women’s Day: Making the Internet a Safer Place for Women

The Internet has proved to be a dangerous place for women. If you are a woman with an online presence, after all, you may have grown so accustomed to Internet harassment that you cannot even imagine an alternate future.

On the International Women’s Day, the AfDB East Africa Resource Centre will host a candid conversation themed ‘Making the Internet a Safer Place for Women’. The celebrations will focus on how technology and the internet can be a safer place so that more women can be able to fully utilize and harness the power of information and communication technologies for their own social and economic advancement.


Women’s ability to claim a space for ourselves online is severely impeded by the abuse directed our way. The impunity with which so many trolls act has been fed by a society still dealing with entrenched inequalities; the wheels of time haven’t really moved far at all.

The event will bring together stakeholders from the government, donor community, private sector, civil society and academia. The panel discussion will specifically look at development in the fast paced information age, and how gender violence in the cyber space manifests itself.

Cyber violence against women can be defined as any form of gender-based and sexual violence expressed through ICTs such as the Internet, mobile phones and video games.

In the recent past, Kenya has witnessed gender based attacks on the cyber space platform, including social media, some of which has resulted into death, health challenges and court cases. This form of GBV has spared no one; women across the board have been affected, ranging from students, senior government officials, politicians, media and entertainment personalities.

Despite the ubiquity of this problem, in many countries, women are often reluctant to report their victimization.

The event aims at pulling some possible solutions that can be implemented by both government, industry and households to protect women, and young children from abuse.

AFDB Bank will also launch a sensitization and capacity building program in partnership with Facebook targeting the Kenya Police and the Judiciary on Gender Based Cyber Violence.

We as Kenyan women hope that the relevant stakeholders recognize that the survival of women and girls is increasingly being challenged by economic dependency, illiteracy, Sexual & gender based violence (SGBV), HIV/AIDS, gender inequalities & marginalization, conflict, insensitive laws, and we hope that this forum will give birth to solutions that will see the above challenges addressed.



About the Author

Sharon Adisa
Sharon is a writer and editor who strives to continually further both the depth and breadth of her skills as a writer so as to contribute superior work and deliver client and customer satisfaction.

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