Stakeholders go for joint efforts to fight digital violence

STAKEHOLDERS have raised concern over the forms of violence taking place on social media plat- forms, saying they pose new challenges in the fight
against Gender Based Violence.

According to them, technological development which has led to the increasing number of online platforms calls for concerted efforts in the fight against the vice.

The stakeholders were speaking recently in Dar es Salaam at the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP) Men Safe Space which aimed at discussing the role of men in the fight against GBV in digital space.

They called upon the government and other stakeholders to strengthen strategies that can protect and ensure responsible behaviour by all digital citizens.

The dialogue also aimed at educating the public on how to manage information they post online and to safeguard themselves from perpetrators who target unsuspecting users.

Men Safe Space is a brotherhood championing gender equality, in which men talk, act towards ending gender- based violence and advancing gender equality.
Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) Advocate Pascience Mlowe said that the country’s constitution has articulated the right to privacy very well and unfortunately it is not utilized accordingly.

“If we do not use online platforms properly, women and girls will continue experiencing online harassment.
Society must be fully aware of the effects of posting distorting information and images that damage people’s reputations,” she said.

Mlowe said The Electronic Transactions Act has been in place for a while but has not laid down laws on how to protect women from online violence.

He advised that it is essential for the government to improve such policies to safe- guard women from cyber bullying and GBV.

“In every individual’s right to privacy, unfortunately, most people commit online offences knowingly or without knowing,” he said.

Engender Health Senior Program Technical Advisor department for men’s program and families, Katanta Simwan- za said that online violence can cause harmful impact on survivors’ mental health such as anxiety, depression, and trauma and sleep disorders.

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