" ITREALMS: Speakers @2020 ITREALMS series: Digital era offers women more voices - ITREALMS

Monday, June 15, 2020

Speakers @2020 ITREALMS series: Digital era offers women more voices - ITREALMS

The speakers’ faculty at the second edition of the 2020 Digital Rights series hosted by ITREALMS has agreed that digital era offers women, especially in Nigeria like other developing countries, more voices, reports ITREALMS.

The second edition of Digital Rights webinar series was hosted in collaboration with DigitalSENSE Africa, Domain Name System ([DNS] Women – Nigeria) and NaijaAgroNet was on the theme: ‘Women and Rights in Digital Era.’

The lead speakers at the second edition, included an author, activist and social entrepreneur, Morenike Adebayo and parliamentary aide and development actor, Abimbola Junaid, who dwelt on “Nigerian Youth, Women and Rights in Digital Era” and Roles of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Safeguarding Women and Rights in Digital Era respectively.

According to Morenike Adebayo, in a country that has very limited representation for women in politics, the military, and law enforcement, “it is also refreshing to see the women’s rights movement find refuge in online platforms.”

She cited for instance that social media has become the traditional channel for pressuring law enforcement to bring sexual offenders and murderers to justice.

“See the recent #JusticeforUwa and #JusticeforTina movements seeking justice for Tina Ezekwe and Vera Uwalia Omozuwa, for instance,” she declared.

With the foregoing, Morenike pointed out, technology seems to be shaking the traditional hierarchies that have subjugated Nigerian women as a whole for centuries.

“Social media has also spearheaded a large-scale societal shift in beliefs around rape and victimhood through hashtags such as #SayNoToRape,” she said, calling for more infrastructure deployment in rural communities across the country.

In agreeing that digital era has provided more opportunities for women, Nigerian development actor based in the United Kingdom, Abimbola Junaid, noted that without technology, she for one will be unable to join this session, considering the cost of flying someone from UK to Nigeria for a seminar like this.

“If we wanted the space to be productive for women, we have just started the benefits, that is, online,” she said.

Digitalization, she said, is where the world is going headed to, stressing that in the real sense of it, as no one wants to be left behind like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She pointed out that laws are nothing if they cannot be put to use and amounts to waste of tax payers fund, stressing that the cost of writing, lobbying, facilitating and making of laws, warrants every seriousness in its implementation for the good of the entire humanity.

Junaid also said that despite the global nature of the internet, its governance remain sovereign thing for countries, so if there is any challenge in embracing and usage positively, it must have to do with local laws.

She maintained that laws for instance to nip the spate of rapes on the bud can only stand once the government decides it must work.

Therefore, she called on political class and leaders in Nigeria including legislators, public and private actors as well as civil society organisations to brace up to this challenge to make digital lives more inclusive for women and girl child.

Nenye Dom/Editor

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