Home Investigation Jinja Grapples with Online Gender-Based Violence Issues

Jinja Grapples with Online Gender-Based Violence Issues

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jinja grapples with online gender based violence issues
jinja grapples with online gender based violence issues
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Jinja City has been identified as a place with a significant number of online gender-based violence (GBV) cases, according to a recent study conducted by the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET). This research, conducted in 2020, indicates that 99.7 percent of females were affected by online GBV, in contrast to 0.3 percent of males.

Online gender-based violence, as defined by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), refers to violent acts that are partly or fully committed using information and communication technologies (ICTs) like mobile phones, the internet, social media platforms, and email. Such acts include verbal and graphic threats, abusive comments, harassment, sexual assault, and the sharing of explicit photos and videos.

Esther Nyapendi, a technical support officer at WOUGNET, revealed that Jinja ranked highest in the list of affected areas among the five districts studied, followed by Kampala, Kabalore, Lira, and Kabale. The primary targets of online violence tend to be female politicians, musicians, and university students, who often remain anonymous due to the fear of stigma.

Cyberstalking and cyberbullying are identified as the most common forms of sexual violence online, alongside non-consensual sharing of intimate images, online sexual harassment, impersonation, doxing, trolling, hacking, and hate speech.

Pascaline Bahati shared her experience of losing her journalism career when her ex-boyfriend distributed her private nude photos.

To address this issue, Nyapendi and her team have trained 40 women in Jinja on digital safety and security measures while using online platforms. These measures include using strong passwords for email accounts, data encryption, and refraining from sharing private images with partners, among others.