On 28 April 2022, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognises International Girls in ICT Day. The ITU identified “Access and Safety” as this year’s theme.
To recognise this, and as part of our monthly remote series, PaCSON recently hosted a presentation in association with Girls Online (GO!) Vanuatu, furthering our understanding of how to help girls and women participate meaningfully and safely in cyberspace. The GO! program runs in Vanuatu and Tonga and is led by ABC International Development with Sista and CARE in Vanuatu.
Safe access to the Internet and to secure ICT infrastructure allows women and girls the opportunity to better protect themselves online, start new businesses, sell products to new markets, find better-paid jobs and access education as well as health and financial services.
However, across the cyber safety landscape, young women and girls often face barriers which include:
- Cyber bullying
- Image-based abuse and victim blaming, and
- A lack of protection and reporting mechanisms
In response to this, the GO! program in Vanuatu has developed online resources to help promote cyber safety for women and girls. These resources have helped program participants to improve their confidence online, helped them to develop cyber skills for safer online behaviours, and enabled them to contribute to a program that is providing real benefit to the lives of women and girls in Vanuatu and Tonga.
The program is:
- Equipping young women and girls with skills and resources for digital and online engagement to prevent and respond to issues like cyber bullying and image-based abuse
- Raising awareness amongst stakeholders and community members about the needs and experiences of young women
Recognising young women as experts in their own experience by including them in the design and development of resources. To learn more about the resources produced for Vanuatu, please read:
- Cybersafety : the experiences of ni-Vanuatu women and girls online booklet
- Cyber safety Awareness video
The PaCSON Community looks forward to continuing to improve cyber security capabilities and readiness across the Pacific, through cooperation and collaboration with our female colleagues and stakeholders.
About Girls in ICT: UN Women is joining girls around the world to mark International Girls in ICT Day, drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women in the ICT sector. To learn more about this day, please read - https://www.itu.int/women-and-girls/girls-in-ict/
About Girls Online (GO!): The GO! program is support by ABC International Development and its partners. CARE in Vanuatu, Sista, Talitha Project Tonga, Tutu on the Beach and Portable are all working to empower young women in Vanuatu and Tonga to participate meaningfully and safely online. To learn more about GO!, please read – https://www.abc.net.au/abc-international-development/projects/go-cyber/