Women In Media Initiative Somalia (WIMISOM) organized one day roundtable discussion for relevant stakeholders in Mogadishu. These diverse participants brainstormed and evaluated the challenges facing women in their quest for digital rights in Somalia.
Shugri Gashan, who officiated the discussion on behalf on WIMISOM has stated the objective of this activity and the overall project in improving awareness around Somali women’s and girls’ digital rights issues and the need for adopting policies and practices that contribute to the development of a safe and empowering online environment for women and girls. Shugri has reiterated the need for improved digital awareness and digital right for Somali women and the previous and ongoing efforts of WIMISOM in addressing these challenges through collaboration with relevant stakeholders and with support from CIPESA.
The participants of the roundtable discussion included representatives from the Government institutions, representatives from local and international NGOs, women rights organizations, ICT education institutions, media, internet service providers and other relevant stakeholders.
All the parties had deeper understanding of and familiarity with the context of digital rights in Somalia. The participants highlighted the specific challenges experienced by the women in digital rights on daily basis and how this poses a risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality in Somalia if not addressed immediately. The discussion was structured and invited comments, questions from participants and guided sharing of ideas and brainstorming by all participants. Due to the huge experience and involvement in the sector by the participants, the discussion was lively and very informative and productive.
The discussion participants have agreed on the reality of increased dependence on technology by all members of society and the need to promote and improve the state of digital rights for women. In order to achieve effective and inclusive use of technology and address the existing challenges the participants have made observations, suggested recommendations and made commitments pursuant to making a safe and enabling environment for women for women and girls to achieve effective and inclusive use of technology for socio-economic and political development in Somalia.
The attendees agreed on the huge need for improved digital awareness of women, and facilitating changes and adoption of policies to facilitate effective and inclusive use of technology for socio-economic and political development in Somalia.