May 4 2023 GM
Glitter Meetup is the weekly town hall of the Internet Freedom community at the IF Square on the TCU Mattermost, at 9am EDT / 1pm UTC. Do you need an invite? Learn how to get one here.
- Date: Thursday, May 4
- Time: 9am EDT / 1pm UTC
- Who: Cecilia Maundu
- Moderator: Mardiya
- Where: On TCU Mattermost "IF Square" Channel.
- Don't have an account to the TCU Mattermost? you can request one following the directions here.
Digital Dada: Security and Sisterhood in East Africa
For this week's Glitter Meet Up Cecilia speaks on how women journalists in East Africa are working together on addressing imminent security threat. The conversation will highlight the specific threats that exists for journalist in the region while pointing out how the techniques she and other women journalist take to navigate these threats and the role of sisterhood throughout the process.
Cecilia Maundu (@maunducess21 on Mattermost) is a broadcast journalist, a digital rights researcher and a digital security trainer. She works at the intersection of journalism, technology and human rights, with a focus on countering online abuse against women journalists while protecting freedom of expression online. She is also a podcaster. She has a podcast called “Digital Dada Podcast." "Digital Dada” is a podcast focused on gender and technology. It aims to change the narrative and perceptions that women are “technophobia.” The podcast steers conversation from online gender-based violence to digital security to Artificial intelligence. The podcast aims to cultivate in the citizenry of the world, a culture of digital security and encourage healthy conversations online for the advancement of a safer and a feminist internet
- Cecilia Maundu is a broadcast journalist, a digital rights researcher and a digital security trainer. She is also an African Union Media Fellow. She works at the intersection of journalism, technology and human rights, with a focus on countering online abuse against women journalists while protecting freedom of expression online. She is also a podcaster. She has a podcast called “Digital Dada Podcast." "Digital Dada” is a podcast focused on matters relating to online violence against women journalists and digital security.
- Digital dada is a podcast I started in the year 2019 through a grant from the Association of Progressive Communication. (APC) The idea of Digital Dada was to empower my fellow female journalists (dada means sister in Swahili) on the issue of cyber violence and marrying it with digital security.
- Online violence was and is still a subject that is invisible on mainstream media. I wanted to create a platform where victims of this vice could speak up and share their stories.
Why did you select a podcast as a way to address digital security and violence against journalists online?
- My choice of choosing podcasting as opposed to any other medium is because radio is very big in Kenya, and I thought podcasting would be great. Also podcasting had started taking shape in Kenya.
- I wanted a medium that can cut across different ages.
Can you take us through some of the specific/ specialized threats you found that journalists and digital justice activists in East Africa or Kenya experienced?
- The issue of doxxing, phishing, trolling and non consensual sharing of personal information is very common in Kenya. Recently private photos of a female Chief Administrative Secretary were leaked online And unfortunately this violence is amplified by victim shaming. All this while praising the perpetrators. We are in a society that rewards perpetrators online. And I see that most of the cyber 'crime' laws mostly look at protecting the state which is strange.
- So there is still more to be done if we are to achieve a safe internet space.
- Unfortunately the cyber harassment law is vague and this has really contributed to the underreporting of this kind of violence.
- And if it's not reported then they is no enough evidence to influence for policy change
Though are there provisions under normal gendered violence legislation on non-consensual sharing of intimate images online?
- There is under the new data protection law that was implemented in 2019 however the law is still taking shape and with everything new there
- Must be teething problems
Are there any collaborative and contextual approaches you or are looking to take on digital security/ safety information sharing and the region? And what is the type of response you have received so far, that is in terms of progress?
- Currently am collaborating with tactical tech, and creating content , podcast's episodes from their Data Detox kit. Please check out their kit
- I would like to partner more with organizations that share the same mission and values like Digital Dada. organizations such as HerInternet, which is an organization doing an amazing job on this issue in Uganda. Organizations like Cipesa, and many others. Also I would like to collaborate with fellow podcasters to see how we can create more digital security content, especially for the population that lives in the rural parts in our countries.
- Collaboration is king, it provides an opportunity to share ideas and together you come with an amazing product.
Dada means sister in kiswahili. Can you take us through the sisterhood aspect of your work, why did you choose this framework and community based approach?
- Through an organization called “ International Association of Women in Radio and Television” IAWRT that I am part of, We conducted a research in 2015 to find out how many women use the internet in Nairobi, and the results were that only 30% of women use the internet. One of the major issues that was making women shy away from the internet was cyberbullying.
- And this got me thinking of the importance of forming a sisterhood among my fellow female journalists because they understand the magnitude of the problem. Together we will be pushing for an agenda that we understand very well. I now work with different women journalists and I must say we have started making strides by bringing this issue to mainstream media. We are not there yet, however baby steps.
- I believe we have covered most of the basics however I would like to say that We need more voices on this issue, we need more people to speak up if we are to win the war on cyber violence against women and minority groups online. We need to broaden our thinking on how we can collectively examine the issue of cyberviolence. We need a multistakeholder approach to this issue.