#Tech2EndGBV is a 365-days-a-year programme, as well as a digital campaign during #16DaysOfActivism to equip Civil Society with tech tools to advocate against gender-based violence.
How was #Tech2EndGBV birthed, what is it about?
A year or two ago, Samantha (Deputy Director, Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC) and Di (Programme Coordinator, Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC) spoke about the fact that NGO’s in the landscape were not understanding how to effectively use social media and the tech available for campaigning and advocacy to advance their cause as well as the use of digital properties responsibly.
For example: People in abusive relationships are encouraged to tell their stories as a means to help others, as stories are powerful, but unfortunately this can trigger other forms of abuse like online bullying, harassment or leads to an increase of abuse in the home or business. Samantha and Di wanted to help society and organisations in the sector to advocate safely and ensure their safety online
How will this digital campaign work, what could be expected as well as the duration?
Advocating against GBV is a collective social responsibility and should be supported 365 days a year. #16Days is a concentrated time set aside internationally to focus all of society’s attention to the cause.
#Tech2EndGBV wants to encourage NGOs to use tech responsibly, support each other through social media platforms and share resources and knowledge. Civil Society is not an island, it needs to form better partnerships and sharing of resources and expertise. Effective and responsible use of tech is one way to do so.
After #16Days, #Tech2EndGBV will continue to have workshops and TechClinics whereby we will concentrate on training with our own equipping modules like online safety, cyberbullying and digital campaign advocacy.
How does tech tools advocate against gender-based violence?
If you follow groups on social media you will see how tech brings people together, helps them build capacity and advocacy campaigns by sharing of resources, stories and helplines .
The internet is a phenomenal tool to connect and share expertise and resources or form partnerships, however, if you do not protect yourself and your information it can very quickly turn into a dangerous and unfriendly space.
Safety online is of the utmost importance for all but especially so for those who are being abused.
Often, women that are cyber-stalked or spied on online by their partners, don’t know that this is taking place until it is too late. Abusive partners may use spyware software to monitor their victims movements, conversations and online activities on either a computer or mobile device for example. The #Tech2EndGBV programme has been designed to not only warn society of the dangers but to also give them practical solutions.
Tech also gives us access to helplines and emergency numbers.
Some women stay in abusive situations because there is no other way for them, whether its dependency on a job with an abusive boss or stay at home mum because there are kids who need her. Women are sometimes scared of the shame attached of going to a shelter. Some women don’t have workplace skills. With all of the above, often the common denominator is that women have and use tech devices – and organisations like ourselves assist with digital literacy programmes etc to advance their skills, coping techniques, safety awareness and more.
How can people get involved in the campaign?
#Tech2EndGBV is available on social media platforms for people to engage and share posts so that the message can reach more people. People are free to starts discussions or request resources or assistance and also share their resources.
We have also created a comprehensive list of 16 Days of Activism Hashtags for Advocacy/Awareness posts on social media that other organisations can use as prompts and to spark their creativity with posts.
We are also hoping that the resources and caution tips we share will encourage people who are in situations of GBV to seek help or be able to identify persons who need help and offer them resources.
Will the campaign run concurrently, or will it only be running for the 2019 #16DaysOfActivism?
#Tech2EndGBV is a programme and training will always available through our workshops and TechClinics. During these face-to-face events we teach organisations on how to use tech for capacity building or advocacy as well as turning campaigning into fundraising.
Who should get involved?
Organisations that work with young men and boys, organisations that offer safe spaces for those stuck in environments and situations where Domestic and GBV takes place. GBV Advocacy organisations. Human Rights organisations. Faith-based organisations. Basically, every NGO in South Africa!
What is your opinion on gender-based violence?
The current interventions are not all working as can be seen with the unacceptable levels of GBV. We need a paradigm shift in our thinking around GBV … there should NOT be a percentage of women who think that it’s ok to be hit by a man. We should not have women in our society saying that “she deserved to be raped – look what she was wearing”
One of the most successful components of our previous #Tech2EndGBV TechClinics was having Judy Strickland from Hope House Counselling Cape Town who is involved in the counselling and trauma side of GBV come and share with us how as communities and society we have to address the root issue of GBV and introduce more preventative and family preservation programming so that intervention is not so desperately needed.
Education is key and we need to implement the change of mindsets and thinking of the younger generation as GBV is a learned behaviour. We are not naturally born to be malicious and to harm others. Things happen in our life, we see behaviours of siblings, grandparents, parents, situations in our homes – poverty, neglect, rejection. Somewhere, these trauma’s play out in our lives.
We as a society need to start speaking positively and not negatively – telling men who are abusive they are “trash” won’t change them, in fact it will possibly make them more angry. Stigmatizing and labeling men as deviant serves to drive them further from one of the greatest forces for good in society which is the drive for men to protect and not harm.
GBV is not something that will self-correct. It will take empathy, strategic and sustained action based on an understanding of its true cause to break the cycle and in our opinion action by all of society, gender, race, religion and government.
What is the importance of stopping GBV?
Society can be passive and do nothing, it can get angry and make a lot of noise or it can dig deep into the real reasons behind GBV and take whatever action needed to fix it. #Tech2EndGBV is using the world of tech to provide NGOs with the tools and skills required to further amplify their advocacy campaigns.
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2019 #16DaysOfActivism Posting Themes:
23 November | 2019 #Tech2EndGBV Campaign: How you can get involved
24 November | Global 2019 #16DaysOfActivism Campaign Theme: How you can get involved
25 November | HASHTAGS (2019 #16Days of Activism Hashtags)
26 November | PASSWORDS (How to create and maintain strong passwords / 2fa)
27 November | MONITORING (What to do ( find out) if someone is monitoring your online activity)
28 November | IMAGES (What is reverse image search and how can it help keep you safe online?)
29 November | DATING SITES (How to keep safe while dating online?)
30 November | SEXTING (What Parents need to know about Teens that Sext)
01 December | CYBERBULLYING (What is it?)
02 December | REVENGE PORN (How to identify, what to do?)
03 December | TWITTER (How to keep safe on the platform)
04 December | FACEBOOK (How to keep safe on the platform)
05 December | INSTAGRAM (How to keep safe on the platform)
06 December | SAFETY APPS (What to use in a GBV Crisis)
07 December | ONLINE STALKERS (What to do to keep safe)
08 December | GBV ADVOCACY INFLUENCERS (Who to follow for GBV Advocacy Resources)
09 December | GBV ONLINE CAMPAIGNS (What Nonprofits need to know)
10 December | GBV STORYTELLING (What Nonprofits need to know)
11 December | 2019 #Tech2EndGBV CAMPAIGN RECAP
12 December | How to keep the advocacy alive after #16DaysOfActivism