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The COVID-19 pandemic has shown why the protection of human rights online is more important now than ever before. The internet has been a gateway for access to critical information, services and opportunities available to many people for the first time, as noted by the GSMA mobile gender gap report.

With more than half of the world’s population under lockdown conditions, more women and girls are using the internet with greater frequency, and actions must be taken to ensure that there are no limitations on women’s access and use of the internet. The African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms, a pan-African initiative, provides standard measures and guidelines which African governments must follow to avoid formulating and implementing policies that curtail internet rights and infringe freedoms. 

This article provides a reflection.on COVID-19 policy responses in Uganda and the relevance of the African Declaration in promoting women’s rights online, with reference to 10 of the 13 principles contained in the Declaration.

Read the full paper here.