Strengthening Women Program
The Internet is increasingly becoming an important platform for economic activities, with online platforms rapidly mediating economic opportunities, social and political engagement.
While the unprecedented growth of the digital economy in Kenya has helped to unlock opportunities across various sectors of the economy, this transformation has brought about myriad challenges, leading to questions about its ability to contribute to broad-based economic development for all Kenyans.
How the Internet enables citizens to benefit from these opportunities is largely determined along gendered lines. The different forms of structural exclusions enabled and multiplied by the internet and other ICT platforms have widened equality gaps in multiple aspects of human life.
Gender based violence, poor digital literacy and lack of awareness in cybersecurity has made women, in all their diversity, to be excluded from internet governance and economic spaces.
In response, KICTANet with support from our partners, we are implementing various projects with gender and inclusion at its heart. These projects are guided by KICTANet’s four pillars namely: policy advocacy, stakeholder engagement, capacity building and research to create a more inclusive internet.
Our Thematic Areas
We build capacity for women to promote their online participation through trainings and development of knowledge toolkits. So far, we have:
- Conducted digital security trainings for women journalists, women bloggers and women human rights defenders
- Conducted trainings on content creation training for female university students
- Held masterclasses on online branding for female students
- Developed a content creation guidebook for women.
Policy Advocacy & Stakeholder Engagement
KICTANet strongly believes in a multi-stakeholder approach for catalysing the evolution of ICT policy changes that guarantee digital rights for women and minorities.
To drive social change in social attitudes towards women and minorities, KICTANet is influencing ICT policies and has:
- Engaged with civil society groups on new and emerging issues that enable online gender based violence
- Engaged with policymakers on policy reforms
- Developed policy briefs to present evidence for our advocacy work.
Given the emerging issues in gender and inclusion, KICTANet regularly researches on the challenges and opportunities presented by ICTs for women and persons with disabilities. Our research is largely spearheaded by consultants who are women and people from other minority groups. This is to ensure that the research reflects what would otherwise be overlooked.
So far, KICTANet has developed policy briefs on creating safe online spaces for women, trends of online violence against women in politics and women and cybercrime. In addition, KICTANet has developed podcasts and comic strips on women’s digital rights issues in both English and Kiswahili.
Strengthening Women’s Safety Online
In 2022, KICTANet, with support from GIZ, is implementing the “strengthening women’s safety online”. The Project focuses on women’s data protection and privacy concerns in Kenya and the development of the fifth module of the Digital Enquirer Kit on Online Gender Based Violence.
KICTANet is part of the women@web initiative, a DW Akademie initiative with coalition members across five East African Countries. The network carries out annual regional campaigns on safe spaces online, while individual organisations hold capacity building and advocacy initiatives.