SAUTI ZAO

Women and youth often face barriers to participating in online discussions on civic matters. They may experience harassment, intimidation, and cyberbullying, which can silence their voices and discourage them from participating in public discourse. Women and youth may also face online censorship, which limits their ability to express their opinions and engage in political and development discussions that has a direct and indirect impact to their lives.

Here are some of the challenges:

- In a small survey conducted by LP Digital, 27% of women surveyed claimed to have been a victim of cyberbullying and were harassed online, whereas 67% of women were unsure what cyberbullying was and the actions that they can take once they encounter it.

- In research done in 2021 on ‘Youth engagement in civic matters through Social Media’, out of 627 respondents surveyed, 91% admitted to being active across a number of social media platforms, however only 45% had ever engaged in a dialogue on civic or development matters through social media.

- Youth in this particular survey highlighted the lack of dedicated platforms and spaces for youth to engage in civic matters in delivery and language they can engage with.

- Youth also insisted on the availability of content and narrative that allows for them to engage in a ‘youthful’ manner in matters of civic engagement and responsibility through online platforms.

- Youth also highlighted how online violence and bullying is one of the limitations on them being vocal or having civic engagement through online platforms.

It is crucial to involve women and youth in these dialogues because, Youth and women constitute a significant proportion of the population, and their voices and perspectives must be represented in civic engagements to ensure that policy decisions and public discourse are inclusive and representative of all segments of society. Including youth and women in civic engagements ensures that a diverse range of perspectives and ideas are brought to the table, leading to more creative and innovative solutions to social, economic, and political challenges.

Project Objective

- Empowering Women and Youth: The project may aim to empower women and youth to participate more actively in online civic engagements by providing them with the necessary digital literacy skills, resources, and support to navigate online spaces safely and effectively.

- Promoting Inclusivity: The project may aim to promote inclusivity in online civic engagements by ensuring that the voices of women and youth are heard and represented, and that online discussions reflect the diversity of perspectives and experiences.

- To co create and design a platform that will be accommodating youth and women voices with an insurance of protection their identity.

- Advocacy and Awareness-raising: The project may aim to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and promoting women and youth voices online on civic matters through advocacy campaigns and public awareness-raising activities.

- Monitoring and Evaluation: The project may aim to monitor and evaluate the impact of its activities on the participation and representation of women and youth in online civic engagements, and use this information to refine and improve its approach over time.

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