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This member story was featured in the 2016 APC Annual Report, as part of our work on a feminist internet.

Women in Nigeria are digitally marginalised, especially in the northern part of the country where culture, religion and low female educational levels have combined to shut out women and girls from the internet. As part of the effort to overcome this, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), with the support of an APC project member grant, implemented a project aimed at promoting the digital inclusion of women.

The project started with research seeking to document the factors that contributed to the marginalisation of women in cyberspace. The research outcome, published as Internet for Men?: The Digital Marginalisation of Women in Northern Nigeria, provided insight into how a feeling of insecurity on the net is a key factor inhibiting women from being online.

For this reason, we mounted a campaign on online safety and security for women. The campaign commenced with two stakeholders meetings held in Bauchi and Kano. This was followed with the convening of a sub-national Internet Governance Forum with the theme “Internet of Our Choice: Empowering Women and Protecting Children Online”.

The forum resulted in the Bauchi Declaration, which aimed at promoting greater access to the internet for women by mobilising various stakeholders to support gender digital inclusion.

To further address the issue of insecurity, CITAD held a two-day training for a core group of women activists drawn from 10 states from the northern part of the country, aimed at enhancing their capacity on internet safety and security. These women became key advocates for the digital inclusion of women.