WIMISOM Concludes Three-Day Training of Trainers on Digital Security for Somali Women Journalists in Garowe

With support from CIPESA, Women in Media Initiatives Somalia (WIMISOM) concluded three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) on Digital Security for 15 women journalists in Garowe. The three-day training that started on November 30, 2020 and ended on December 2, 2020 was attended by 15 women journalists representing print, electronic and online news outlets based in Garowe, Bosaso, Dhusamareb, Baidao, Kismayo, Jowhar, Mogadishu.

These bright women journalists were trained on how Internet works, setting up security and privacy features of android mobiles and windows computers- which are the two biggest systems used by Somali journalists, the tools and tactics used to defend your devices and data from malware and phishing activities, the best practices on how to safely protect emails and use internet, how cookies work, what are the safe internet websites, how to remove internet browsing history, what is incognito browsing, what is anonymity network, how it protects identity of email account user, encrypting mails and hard-drive, hiding information with veracrypt and creating strong passwords.

Because of their extended use of social media platforms for news distribution and interaction with audiences, they were also trained on effective and secure use of social media accounts and pages, how to set up security features of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, how to report abusive contents, profiles, photos and videos to these social sites.

Women journalists in Somalia are more vulnerable to online attack and harassment as they face a double-burden being attacked as journalists and as women. In a survey conducted by WIMISOM in May 2020, we found that more 76% of women journalists in Somalia experienced sustained harassment and threats in the online platforms and less than 18% had received digital safety training or somehow aware of tools that could protect them in the digital space. For this reason, these journalists were trained to be trainers and when they go back to their respective locations, each of them will be required to conduct at least one training and to transfer what they have learnt from the training to other women journalists, reaching up to 150 women journalists across Somalia. WIMISOM, in coordination with CIPESA will provide guidance and facilitate for the journalists to organize the one-day training.

This ToT is expected to expand the digital security knowledge of other women journalists to better protect themselves and their data, and to carry out their work safely and with greater freedom.

The participants were later given certificates signifying their completion of three-day digital security training held in Garowe. WIMISOM will continue in enhancing the capacity of women journalists to enable them to affect change in Somali women’s lives.