HER Internet

Mental Health and the Internet

Many people with access to the Internet do so on a daily basis, and the Internet has become a well-integrated part of our lives. This has led to changes in how we live our lives, how we construct and maintain social relations and self-identities, seek information, and enjoy entertainment. The Internet itself is not the main cause of poor mental health but the way we use it can negatively impact us through a number of ways such as: causing anxiety and depression; some negative impact on physical health including strained eyes, back pain or change in sleep patterns; low self-esteem and in extreme cases, Internet addiction disorder. Taking care of our mental health is always important and we have all faced strange, unprecedented times with the COVID19 pandemic. With increased use of the internet - especially social media, there is often little escape from reality. It can feel impossible to “unplug” and take a break from the online world.

HER Internet

Accelerator Campaign

HER Internet is part of the accelerator campaign in partnership with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and Amnesty Denmark. In light of the Sexual Offences Bill being passed by the parliament of Uganda, the campaign under #RepealSOBUg and #DeleteClause11 started off by the accelerators visiting various partners and allies in order to revisit commitments of allyship and strengthen existing partnerships with them and the LGBTQ community. The month of May was also significant to kickstart the campaign to celebrate and honor the International day against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). All the organizations reached pledged to create safe spaces for LGBTQ persons in Uganda.

HER Internet

Research Report Launch 

HER Internet hosted the launch of our report on a research study conducted all over Uganda to determine the experiences of lesbians, bisexual and queer (LBQ) womxn and Female sex workers (FSW) with violence in online spaces as part our contribution to build an evidence base to support collective advocacy efforts for the LGBTQ and sex work communities.

We are very happy to share with you the research report titled “The trends and impact of technology assisted violence among Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer Womxn and Female sex workers in Uganda.” The increasingly rapid technological advances have created new possibilities for the criminal misuse of ICTs. It is therefore important to interrogate how far the harm goes, the avenues of access to justice for these violations and what LBQ womxn and FSW needs are in this regard.

Technology intersects with virtually every aspect of our daily lives. In a survey involving service providers who provide services to victims of GBV, 97% indicated that victims who seek their services were being harassed, monitored and/or threatened by perpetrators misusing technology.

Understanding the impact of abusers’ misuse of technology, the types of technology misused, and the ways in which technology can be used to assist survivors is therefore crucial to providing survivor support. While harassment, threats and intimidation are not new tactics in the world of stalking, domestic and sexual violence, abusers are increasingly using technology as a means to monitor, harass, threaten, intimidate, impersonate and stalk their victims, making it difficult for survivors to find physical safety and eroding their sense of safety.

HER Internet

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Introduction to the Handbook

Uganda has seen tremendous growth in mobile penetration, and access to the internet; for example, teledensity estimates in 2015 were 64%. The country also continues to experience growth in the internet subscription, with a 37.4% internet penetration rate in the same time period. With these advancements in access, there is also a marked rise in the incidence of cybercrime such as fraud, hacking and identity theft.

An increasingly worrying trend amongst cybercrimes is online violence against womxn and the numbers increase exponentially. When queer womxn, non-binary persons and sex workers are added to the equation.

In the recent U.N. report, cyber violence was found to be just as damaging to womxn as physical violence. The report goes on to indicate that womxn are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber violence with growing access to internet across the world, which could in turn detrimentally impede the uptake of broadband services by girls and womxn worldwide.

“Online violence has subverted the original positive promise to the internet freedoms and into many circumstances has made it a chilling space that permits anonymous cruelty and facilitates harmful acts towards womxn and girls “

-Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN women.

HER Internet

Cyber Security Awareness

We hosted a space with womxn to dialogue under the topic "Privacy online, offline and in between" as part of our contribution towards #cybersecurityawarenessmonth call to all of us to DoYourPart #BeCyberSmart.

Whether or not we have privacy while online today is up for debate. The key is knowing where the invisible line that we so often cross is. We believe the liberation of womxn comes from having the right information.

Research is the best source of knowledge and through it we have learned the dangers Technology Assisted Violence has caused womxn on the internet. The facts are spoken for in this very research conducted country wide that has been wrapped up with the central region.

The data is currently being analysed and compiled, So watch the space!

It is an undeniable fact that technology has somehow pacified mankind. Our research preliminary results effects of technology assisted violence faced by minority womxn in Uganda. We are raising awareness on violence that occurs while using the internet and collecting experiences from different communities as well. We aim to equip as many womxn as possible with pertinent information on how to engage safely online which will in turn ensure that womxn are aware of their freedom*s* on the internet

HER Internet

#ChooseToChallenge patriachy

We #ChooseToChallenge patriachy, a system of social stratification and differentiation on a gendered basis which provides material and opportunity advantages to men while simultaneously placing severe constraints on lives and activities of womxn.
Patriarchy is embedded within the online social fabric whether it is the predominance of womxn facing trolling, gendered censorship of bodies, male dominace in the technology industry or stereotypical representations reproduced in technologies like Alexa, Siri.

"Recognition of the harm that patriarchy has to people and planet does not mean that men are wrong and women are right; rather it's a call for new organisational forms and for relishing gender differences within a context of equality".
- Elizabeth Lesser.

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