LACK of awareness on online based Gender,Sexual-Based Violence in the country is a great source of concern, observe the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Zambia (FAWEZA).
And rather than being free and empowered to express themselves online, girls and young women continue to be harassed, abused and driven out of online space, the State of the World’s Girls 2020 report has reviewed.
FAWEZA Programmes Officer Faith Minja says there is a rampant increase of online harassment while lack of information and awareness continue to pause threats in the fight against online GBV and other forms of harassment.
“As we observe the 16 days of activism, these are the issue we need to bring out and raise awareness,” Ms Minja said.
Meanwhile, Ms Minja warns that social media should be used for better purposes not to be used as a tool to scandalized other people’s rights.
Ms Minja added that such gaps need immediate interventions urging government and stakeholders to collaborate to scale up interventions.
“in terms of laws , little is being done to raise awareneas and people take it normal. And that we are under the 16 days, these are the issues we need to raise awareness around,”Ms Minja added.
And the Zambia Police has indicated that there are no laws in the country that deal with with online GBV harassment.
As police, “We just look at the act and not how it (crime) was committed.we give general statement so we don’t have data to indicate that this is online GBV or the other,” Police Spokesperson Esther Mwata Katongo said.
Meanwhile the State of the World’s Girls 2020 report conducted in 32 counties globally reviews that out of 14,000 surveyed girls, half (7000) experienced online harassment.
It further read, “with communities now in COVID-19 lockdown and close to 700 million girls are out of school and are spending more time than ever at home and Internet. It is vital than never that girls enjoy full and equal access to opportunities social media and the web have to offer.