GIDICom launches #HateFreeAbakwa alongside women living with disabilities

Global Initiative for Digital inclusion and Communication GIDICom has launched it 4months Campaign #HateFreeAbakwa

HateFreeAbakwa Project seeks to engage youths, CSOs, community leaders, persons living with disabilities, journalists and bloggers to counteract #fakenews, mitigate Hatespeech, disinformation and misinformation online and offline while ensuring information verification before Sharing.

The project is intended to engage each an everyone to take actions that will bring about relevant content online and offline. The launch began with women living with disabilities on the theme ” Enhancing the capabilities of women living with disabilities on Peace building”.

During the training the women were schooled on their active role in Peace building processes. Mr. Tah Kennette of SOPISDEW who was the lone trainer for the session reiterated that these women are not different from other women living without any form of disabilities so they have a role to play in building peace. He urged them to begin the act of peace building from their smaller spheres before extending it to their communities. Talking on hate speech Mr. Tah who defined it as any form of communication be it written or said which is intended to cause harm on a group of persons or a person based on their race, sex, religion, political affiliation, identity, called on these women to be mindful of such speeches which can incite violence. He urged the women who are social media friendly to always verify images before they post. On Trauma and heal the women were advanced knowledge on trauma, types and how challenges of trauma can be handled.

During the Trauma and healing session led by the Executive Director of GIDICom, Pedmia Shatu Tita she indicated that Trauma is very common in conflict situations and Peacebuilding cannot be effective if people are not relieved from such mental illnesses. She engaged the women in experience sharing beginning with her story and opened the floor for discussions. The women explained their difficulties in times of this crises which ranges from access, cannot run in times of shooting, they are assaulted and battered, death of loved ones, threat on life, pain of seeing gory images, psychological distress etc. It was an interactive session where participants were allowed to propose solutions to the problems of their peers. It was agreed that crying was part of the healing process and no one should hold back tear should they feel as to pour out. Also distract themselves to avoid thinking.m, be in the company of others etc.

On the issues raised of gory images, Gidicom’s Executive Director invited participants with android phones to check their whatsapp settings to be sure that the images and videos do not download automatically since many complained that they wake up just to see a galley full of bloody images.

Talking to the press on why the target audience Pedmia Shatu said “Women across the world are standing their ground against political exclusion, but more must be done to ensure that a gender sensitive approach is used, that all women have the opportunity to participate in building the rule of law and strengthening democracy, and that all women have a voice in decision making processes postconflict. She furthered that sustainable peace requires the inclusion of all groups affected by
conflict at all stages in the peace building process reason she choose this category of people.” Some progress has been made through a series of
United Nations Security Council Resolutions, beginning with Resolution 1325 in 2000, to give women a place at the table in post conflict peace building and reconciliation; however, women with disabilities have not had a role in these processes, either in practice or formally through the various United Nations resolutions and policy documents.”

She added that women with disabilities face unique challenges and offer unique perspectives. They have the capacity to make important contributions to the peacebuilding process and must be included to ensure that their
needs and concerns are addressed and effectively represented. Emancipatory gender politics entails
considering disability, along with ethnic origin, sexual orientation, and other identities. Groups which have traditionally been excluded, such as women with disabilities, deserve special attention: bringing their varied backgrounds, perspectives, and skills to the negotiating table and playing an important role in formulating and implementing policies that will affect society as a whole after conflict. According to Pedmia Shatu, this approach
also strengthens democracy and fosters inclusive political participation. Therefore, existing programs, institutions, and mechanisms at all levels must strive to include the voices of women with disabilities, as resolutions, recommendations, and guidelines are drafted, as programs are designed and implemented on the ground, and as peace processes proceed.

By Sandrine M.

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