By Binta Shama.
The Centre for Information, Technology and Development (CITAD), has embarked on a 16-day of Activism against gender-based violence which began on the 25th of November as a means to shape, define, participate, use and share knowledge, information and technology, and to create digital spaces that are safe and equal.
CITAD made this known at a press conference in Abuja.
According to the spokesperson, Programme Assistant Gender and Internet Advocacy (CITAD), Ms. Salma Abdulwaheed, the campaign was initiated by the Association for Progressive Communications’ women’s programme (APC WNSP), in 2006, and built by a diverse movement of individuals, organizations, collectives and communities which is the UN-sanction.
Abdulwaheed further said: “CITAD a member of the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), usually takes part in the campaign from November 25th, to 10th of December in every year. This year, CITAD decided to take the campaign with both online and offline activities in Kano and Bauchi states, and the FCT respectively”
Adding that CITAD campaign took turn on engaging students in different schools on the topic: “Understanding GBVO: its effects on our society”, as well as “Countering Gender Violence Online: Towards a safer online space for young girls in Nigeria”. Which other activities included discussion programme on both radio and TV stations respectively, with the CITAD team also holding twitter and Facebook campaigns as part of the online efforts.
She further stressed: “Take Back the Tech! calls all users of information and communications technologies (ICTs) especially girls and women and also men and boys to take control of technology and consciously use it to change unequal power relations. Take Back the Tech!.”
She disclosed that the campaign would offer safety roadmaps and information and providing an avenue for taking action, adding that the Take Back the Tech! has led several campaigns at various points in the year, but that the biggest annual campaign takes place during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from the 25th of November, to tomorrow the 10th of December.
“During campaigns, Take Back the Tech! announces actions that combine creative and strategic use of information and communication technology (ICT) with the issue of VAW. Campaigners organize actions that respond to their local priorities, such as workshops on online safety, media monitoring on rape reporting, solidarity actions on the streets and in online spaces, and discussions on women’s right to privacy.”
“CITAD feels it is necessary therefore to involve the Media, which is an important stakeholder in the quest of combating gender violence against women and girls online, empowering them with digital skills and protection of women and girls digital rights,” she added
According to the programme assistant, CITAD urged the media to lend their voices to reach the larger society so that the society could fully understand the menace of online gender violence and also take action in countering it.
“Together, we can make our society better and safer for all women and girls both online and offline. Remember, for our nation to become fully developed, we have to support women and girls who constitute 50% of the total population, to become self-empowered and or reliant. The nation can never progress if 50% of it’s population is dependent on the other half,” Abdulwaheed stated.
Take Back the Tech! with a hashtag #TBTT is a global and collaborative campaign for anyone using the Internet and technology to protest violence against women online (GBVO).