Women leaders urged to be wise in handling cyber-attacks

DAR ES SALAAM: WOMEN leaders have been called upon to exercise wisdom whenever they face cyber-attack by giving clarity instead of retaliating as doing so will see them lose focus.

They have also been warned to respond to false information on time failure of which will see the public believe the negative narratives.

Najma Matengo Program Coordinator POLLICY made the call in Dar es Salaam on Monday during her presentation on digital skills to women councilors under the VOTE: WOMEN project which falls under her organization.

She mentioned character assassination and cyberbullying as some of the most common challenges which can face women aspirants as well as leaders saying there is so little that one can do to control them but as a leader one must provide clarity on any false information against them.

According to Matengo, one can resort to either issuing a press release and to share it with members of the press for clarity.

For her part, Eveline Mwakatuma a veteran journalist now with the municipal council said cyber-attacks and bullying against women aspirants were common during elections citing a case of one of her close relatives who vied for a political post only to be accused that she was a prostitute who had gone to sell herself in Makkah while as she had gone there for Hijja.

She called upon the need for women to be brave and bold for them to vie for political posts while at the same time creating close ties with members of the press so that they can make their work visible.

For her part, Beatrice Nyamisango, a councilor from the Dar es Salaam Municipal Council called upon women to be keen when using social media as it sends things globally.

Lucy Lugome a Councilor from Segerea shared a testimony over how during the previous elections an opponent from one of the political parties decided to assassinate her character where a car would pack on a daily basis near her house accusing her of being a prostitute with no decent family.

According to Lugome, she never retaliated but instead went with her husband and children to one of the public meetings for a proper introduction and the latter requested the public to vote for his wife where she won.

“I am happy to know that the ongoing electoral law reforms are about to make an aspirant who engages in harassment during elections to be held accountable,” said Lugome.

The one day working session meant to link women leaders and female scribes to enable them to report more on the latter’s work.

The session was conducted by POLLICY ahead of the local government elections slated for this year.

POLLICY is an organization which functions at the intersection of data, technology and design to improve government service delivery with the second phase of the VOTE: WOMEN project now operational in Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania.

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