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Activists decry violence on social media

Activists decry violence on social media

THE Tanzania Media Women's Association (TAMWA) has called on parents, guardians, and stakeholders to take action to end new forms of violence through social media. TAMWA Executive Director Dr Rose Reuben made the plea on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam while speaking to students from Mugabe Secondary School during a festival that included a debate, sports, and entertainment to mark the International Day of the Girl Child. Every year on October 11, the International Day of the Girl Child is commemorated to empower and amplify the voices of young girls all around the world.

This year's theme is ‘Digital generation, our generation’. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) commemorated the International Day of the Girl Child 2021, like it does every year, by reiterating its commitment to support the advancement of girls and protect their rights.

"Several incidences of sexual harassment have been publicized in the country via the internet, including the sharing of sex videos depicting girls while the man hides his face; such acts must be denounced," Dr Reuben stated.

Other forms of sexual violence on the internet, she said , include scandals and hate speech, as well as social media accounts being hacked and then used by people for frauds or sexually explicit videos.

"This is especially true for girls who have prominent or well-known names in the community."

She claimed that, photos of females were shared on social media, sparking a conversation about abuse and contributing to the development of nasty language.

"We must eliminate this abuse and continue to encourage proper, safe, and profitable use," Dr Rose added, citing the rise in these events as a result of the increased use of social networks.

Children have been snatching their parents' phones to view sexually explicit images or videos, according to John Mathias, a Form One student at the school, leading to the surge in violence.

Mathew Mchome, the Headmaster of the School, asked parents to monitor their children's internet usage.

"Children should use technology, but their use of the phone should be managed," Mr Mchome added.

"Children should not be left alone with the phone because they will misuse it, resulting in moral degeneration."

According to UNICEF research titled ‘Investing in the pathways to employment: For adolescent girls and young women in low and middle-income countries,' about one in four females aged 15–19 are not in education, employment, or training, compared to one in ten boys.

 

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