In all circumstances, online abuse affects girls and women differently than it does males, and it is critical that we recognize women’s lived experiences online as well as the use of abusive terminology that some may find disturbing when discussing online abuse.
On International Women’s Day, as Ghana joins the rest of the globe in celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements, Child Online Africa would like to take advantage of the occasion to raise awareness about gendered online abuse and how it may be prevented.
If we as a society truly want to break the bias against girls and women in order to make the world a better place, then the following proposals, as well as others, should be taken seriously from now on.
Girls and women should take internet safety discussions more seriously and make them a way of life in churches, mosques, schools, homes, workplaces, and any other place where women and girls gather to socialize or study.
2. Platform designers should take a human-centered approach to platform design, taking into account the age of users, their digital literacy levels, and their unique disabilities.
3. Governments, on the other hand, should formulate laws that provide extra protection for girls and women in the fight against online harm, in addition to creating an enabling environment for feedback on laws. It is critical that the government enacts legislation that is effective in holding online service providers responsible.
We believe that these will serve as a springboard for a paradigm shift in breaking the bias that girls and women face in the digital world, regardless of their socioeconomic level.