Women @ web is a project developed and supported by DW Akademie with the goal of fostering digital inclusion among women in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda). The Women @ web (W@W) project's major goal is to increase capacity in digital literacy, advocacy, and awareness of safe spaces for women online. This includes putting in place procedures and mechanisms to ensure women's safety while also exposing them to the benefits and opportunities available in the internet world.
Women @ web is implemented in Tanzania by Launchpad Tanzania, one of the project's partner organizations. The initiative has been operating throughout East Africa since its launch in 2018. Given the substantial shift to digital platforms, rising internet usage, and the rise of social media, ensuring that digital communities are aware of their rights and obligations as digital citizens has become critical. It is critical to teach people how to protect themselves and their gadgets, as well as how to negotiate and overcome the different forms of abuse they may experience online. To address these concerns, Launchpad Tanzania has used responsive measures like as psycho-social safety and mental wellness. The organization aims to continue this capacity-building effort through digital resilience training.
Women often face targeted harassment and silencing in their online activities. Their statements are frequently met with abusive body-shaming remarks and phishing attempts. While internet platforms offer opportunities for women in the digital age, many sectors remain dominated by men, creating challenging environments for women in online spaces. This is particularly true for women in politics, human rights activism, journalism, and the media.
While there is a desire for increasing female participation in politics, human rights advocacy, and media journalism, it is critical not only to close the digital gender gap in terms of numbers, but also to enable women to embrace opportunities as they occur. As Launchpad Tanzania promotes for women's digital resilience, they also advocate for digital rights, such as the right to access the internet, the right to remain online, the ability to work, the right to property ownership, and the right to information through digital devices.
However, many women are hesitant to be vocal or active online due to a perceived lack of safety on digital platforms, even when their positions or occupations necessitate it. Politicians, for example, require internet channels to discuss national issues, yet many are not taken seriously. Women in media, journalism, and human rights action face similar challenges. To combat these cybercrimes, it is critical to increase their online resistance.
Recognizing that men and women experience online abuse differently, Launchpad Tanzania has launched a number of digital rights, digital literacy, and digital skills for women programs through the Women @ web project. Launchpad Tanzania aspires to establish a safer and more inclusive digital platform for women in Tanzania by tackling these challenges.