The VOTE: Women Curriculum launch: Ugandan and Tanzanian Women Leaders Speak up

Women, in general, face so many hurdles in careers or their ordinary lives. They face multiple harassment, and being undermined. This doesn’t just stop at the workplace. With the rise of social media, many women have been faced with more online gender-based harassment due to online misogynistic tendencies by different troll accounts trying to diminish them.

Due to this, the team at Pollicy worked on a report Amplified Abuse that shows that many women have opted to leave social media or not be vocal enough as they would be due to this harassment.

The Amplified Abuse report release made it easier to understand why so many women leaders tend to neglect the use of digital media platforms to push their work agenda compared to their male counterparts. That is why the Vote: Women training is vital for the many brands that are political women leaders because it helps them grow their audience and make sure their work is visible for the rest of the world to see. The training was launched in both Uganda and Tanzania.

The event launch was geared towards sharing the Vote: Women program training curriculum towards the 20 local council women leader cohort that will be skilled in using digital media as leaders while maneuvering the targeted online abuse towards women. This training will mainly skill women in; engaging their target audiences, creative writing, and running campaigns on social media platforms among many other topics beyond online safety.

This will make the women leaders even better equipped to communicate with their online communities about the work they are doing and what they plan on doing in the future.

When women speak out, the digital spaces sometimes make them feel even worse for doing that, an example of Sheebah Karungi (a celebrated Ugandan music artist) being shamed for opening up about her experience and that drives women off digital platforms,” said Samantha Mwesigye, a Lawyer and Lecturer who was one of the panelists at the Vote: Women Curriculum launch at the Hotel Africana in Kampala, Uganda on 20/05/2022.

The program also launched in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania at the Seascape Hotel where many women leaders in attendance openly spoke about what the training means for them on 28/05/20222.

Despite the digital efforts that we are putting in, we need to do more, you have heard of the statistics from Pollicy. Through this curriculum, you can learn how to conduct effective digital campaigns to navigate a number of challenges such as money to run political campaigns by mobilising online campaigns’’- Advocate Geline Fuko, the Keynote speaker during the Tanzania launch.

The events, though launched in two different countries; both had one goal, for the women to understand more about what harnessing the power of digital media for their political activities will do for them as Women leaders in East Africa. The Vote: Women training is not just aimed at the women who are able to access digital media platforms, but also towards the women leaders in the marginalised communities across Africa.

This means that for the training to be effective in the future, many of the women in these areas will have to be given an opportunity to access the training and also access the knowledge to harness digital media for their work. The plight of women leaders is something that has to be highlighted so that the lack of equity in access to funds and community trust during campaigns is also deeply delved into. This was resounded by a few women in attendance at both the; Tanzanian and Ugandan curriculum launches, especially when sharing what the leaders had to go through to make it to their political positions.

The Vote:Women training is slated to grow beyond Uganda and Tanzania, the goal is to make sure all women leaders across the continent of Africa are able to see their potential by acquiring skills that will help them brand themselves even further beyond their countries through different digital media platforms. The current cohorts from both countries will be able to engage with each other throughout the training to give them practical examples of how digital literacy works.

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