The impact of Online abuse impacts girls and women differently from men in all settings and in discussing online abuse, it is important we consider women’s lived experiences online as well as the use of abusive language that some might find distressing.
As Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women on International Women’s Day, Child Online Africa would like to cease the opportunity to raise awareness about gendered online abuse and the ways it can be stopped.
If indeed we as a society wish to break the bias towards girls and women for a better world then the following recommendations and more should be taken seriously from now onwards:
1. Girls and women should take online safety discussions more seriously and make sure they have become a lifestyle for them in the churches, Mosques, Schools, home, workplace, and every other space that women and girls meet either to socialize or learn.
2. Service providers should adopt human-centered approaches in the design of their platforms taking into consideration the age of users, their digital literacy levels as well as their unique disabilities.
3. Government on the other hand apart from creating an enabling environment for feedback on the laws should also formulate laws that give extra protection for girls and women in the fight against online harm. It is important government put in place measures that are effective enough to hold online service providers accountable for the online safety of people who use their services.
We hope these provide a head start for a paradigm shift to breaking the bias confronting girls and women in the digital environment devoid of a person’s economic status.