A phone call away: Mobile phones help end violence against women in Uganda

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By WOUGNET for APC

Uganda, 04 November 2010

Women in Uganda’s rural areas will learn about domestic violence against women through the use of different ICT tools to build awareness around the issue, but they will also learn to report and prevent it – and the mobile phone will be playing a big part in their campaigns – from frontline SMS, to around-the-clock hotlines. Other tools being used include web 2.0 and online publishing tools, as well as radio. Four organisations that work with women and ICTs are being awarded with small grants to implement these projects through the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme’s (WNSP) Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project, which targets the third Millennium development goal on equality for women.

TAKE BACK THE TECH! FUND WINNERS IN UGANDA

Mahyoro Rural Information Centre (MARIC) In Uganda’s Mahyoro Sub County, the Mahyoro Rural Information Centre is a community-based organisation that works towards empowering women in the community. MARIC is training rural, migrant women and victims of domestic violence to use ICTs in order to create a community of women and girls that can use ICTs to help end violence against women. They will use web 2.0 tools to gather, package and disseminate information, especially in schools and youth clubs, and will use radio for wider diffusion into local communities.

Isis WICCE is helping women living with HIV/AIDS learn ICT skills in order to end violence against women in the Bukhooli south county, of the Bugiri district. The women will learn about citizen journalism and online publishing with web 2.0 tools like blogs, Facebook and Twitter. The women will also learn to use frontline SMS and other mobile applications for advocacy.

Uganda Media Women’s Association (UMWA) is an organisation of women who are involved in journalism and information management from various sectors in Kampala. These women will become counsellors to other women who have been victims of domestic violence. Using radios and mobile phones to disseminate information about gender based violence, the women will help local communities and their councils understand the causes of gender-based violence. Additionally, three 24-hour, confidential telephone lines will be set up, as well as a weekly talk radio programme that will bring in local leaders, police, victims and women of various different organisations to share their experiences with over 3 million listeners.

Hope case foundation, is a non-governmental organisation that works with women who are living in poor rural communities with HIV/AIDS in the Busia district of Eastern Uganda. 20 women will learn to use mobile phones in order to report cases of violence against women, and 20 secondary school girls and ten women teachers will learn to use ICTs for awareness campaigns. In total, ten women’s organisations will learn to use ICTs to help facilitate their work towards end violence against women.

The Take Back the Tech! fund is a part of the APC women’s programme Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project, which falls under the APC’s work towards achieving the third Millennium Development Goal on equality for women. A total of $20 000 dollars have been disbursed to twelve country partners for redistribution to local and grassroots organisations that are working with women and ICTs.

Photo by WOUGNET. Ugandan women receive training on mobile phones.

(END/2010)

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