Bauchi gets social media counsellors ‘on free speech’

Bauchi gets social media counsellors ‘on free speech’

Some women in Bauchi State in Northern Nigeria have been trained on how to handle free speech and ward-off violence on social media. The social counsellors were trained by a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) based in Bauchi State. The training programme for the protection of the rights of women and handle abuses online


Some women in Bauchi State in Northern Nigeria have been trained on how to handle free speech and ward-off violence on social media.

The social counsellors were trained by a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) based in Bauchi State.

The training programme for the protection of the rights of women and handle abuses online by the group which is based in the State.

Miss Comfort Attah of Attah Sisters Helping Hand Foundation, emphasized the need for the protection of women rights on the internet.

On Thursday in Bauchi, Miss Comfort Attah of Attah Sisters Helping Hand Foundation, said the campaign was organised in order to advance internet equalities for women and other marginalised groups through creative campaign and awareness supported by the Centre for Information Technology and  Development (CITAD).

According to her, Internet rights to freedom of expression, privacy, data protection and internet access regardless of race, class, gender, gender identity, age, belief or ability should be considered at all times.

Comfort Attah said that “Women’s rights online address online aspects of traditional women rights with respect to discrimination in the exercise of rights, the right to hold office, the right to equal pay and the right to education”.

“The protection of women’s rights online is part of a broader socio-cultural and professional shift focusing attention on reducing discrimination and diminishing the bias in the exercise of rights, including for accessing educational and economic opportunities, holding office, and receiving equal pay,”

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She also urged women to ignore the barrage of violent threats and harassing messages that confront them online everyday but should remain resolute in the fight against any form of violence against them.

“So, women who are harassed online are expected to either get over ourselves or feel flattered in response to the threats made against us. We have the choice to keep quiet or respond “gleefully”, Comfort Attah said.

According to her, “feminist internet also allows us to harness the power of the internet to convey the realities of women’s lives to the world and to ensure freedom of sexual and gender expression

“Women who are harassed online are expected to either get over ourselves or feel flattered in response to the threats made against us. We have the choice to keep quiet or respond” gleefully, Comfort Attah added.

She, however, pointed out that “feminist internet also allows us to harness the power of the internet to convey the realities of women’s lives to the world and to ensure freedom of sexual and gender expression”.

Also speaking, Mrs Precious Alfred from Women Right and Empowerment Network Bauchi, said that feminist internet is one where online violence against women is taken seriously and addressed.

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She also lamented that girls and women have faced discrimination and major inequalities in education  ICT specialisations, health, social welfare, political participation and justice.

“Many of these disparities between men and women in the enjoyment of fundamental rights have been perpetuated online that is why we advocate for the feminist Internet to ensure an equal and just internet for all,” Mrs Precious said.

On his part, Malam Usman Abubakar, of the School of Midwifery,, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi said spouses violates their rights on the internet which is not supposed to be right.

Usman Abubakar stressed that gender-based online violence encourages immorality among the spouses and the young people on social media platforms such as twitter, facebook among others.

“We are therefore calling on the conventional media and the social media to raise awareness and educate the public on the effect of gender discrimination online,” he said.

Participants at the workshop are expected to form themselves into as champions of women’s rights and initiate their counterpart in the rural areas.

GOVERNOR BALA MIHAMMED OF BAUCHI STATE
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