Bauchi Feminist Internet School (BAFIS), Report of Activities

Bauchi Feminist Internet School Organised by Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), with Support from Association for Progressive Communication (APC) Hazibal Suites, Bauchi State 17th-19th April, 2019

1.Preamble

Gender Digital gap in Nigeria is so obvious even when there is little data to substantiate. This could be seen in the low number of women in the IT profession, low number of women making effective use of the internet and social media, low number of women engaged in in decision making processes as well as lack of disaggregate data in gender along different aspects of ICT access and use. This has posed aa big challenge to the struggle to bridge gender digital gap in Nigeria. Similarly, there are few organisations or individuals like CITAD which are making strategic efforts to bridge gender digital gap in Nigeria. It was in this vein that Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), with support from Association for Progressive Communication (APC) initiated the first Bauchi Feminist Internet School (BaFIS) in Nigeria. The School drew at least 21 participants from different states in Nigeria including Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa and Kano. The participants were journalists, writers, gender advocates, as well active social media users including one person with disability (PWD). The school was 3-day extensive training on concepts of Feminist Internet, Gender Violence Online, Digital Right and Internet Governance.

  1. Objectives

The objective of the Bauchi Feminist Internet School (BaFIS), was to produce digital inclusion champions who will join the champions for bridging gender digital divide in the country. The 3-day training offered intensive training on various topics regarding access to internet governance and policy making in the arena from the perspective. It was also part of the training objectives for the beneficiaries to

  1. Stepdown what they have learned in the school to at least 10 other persons, whom 70% should be of the female gender.
  2. Conduct a press conference to support digital inclusion agenda,
  3. Take part in social media campaign to support the advocacy for a national inclusion agenda.
  4. Undertake advocacy visits to relevant government officials/agencies to solicit their support for the national digital inclusion agenda.
  5. Write a article in not less than 1000 words on how digital inclusion agenda can be realized in Nigeria.
  6. 3. Opening session:
  • Opening Prayers led by a participant Ibrahim basirka.
  • Welcoming Remarks by Engr. Kamal Umar.
  • Objectives of the BaFIS by Maryam Ado Haruna.
  • To establish the understanding of the participants on the concept of feminism since the concept of feminism remains a controversial one in Nigeria with many people perceiving it negatively, Since the participants were selected based on the certain requirements including their background in gender advocacy, the responses from the participants about their understanding on the concept of feminism was rated as average.
  1. Presentations Made During the BaFIS:
  2. Digital Rights 1: Understanding the Digital Rights- Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu
  3. The Feminist Internet Principle- Dr. YZ Ya’u
  4. Digital Rights 2: The African Declaration of on Internet Rights and Freedoms- Dr. YZ Ya’u
  5. Digital Rights 3: Nigeria’s Digital Rights and Freedom Bill (HB490)- Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu
  6. Internet Governance 1: The Concept of Internet Governance- Engr. Kamal Umar
  7. Internet Governance 2: The IGF Processes- Dr. YZ Ya’u
  8. GBVO 1: Concept, Manifestation and case Studies-Maryam Ado Haruna
  9. Internet Safety and Security 1: Safety and Security Online- Engr. Kamal Umar
  10. Internet Safety and Security 3: Managing Personal Metadata- Dr. YZ Ya’u
  11. Digital divide 1 the concept of digital divide- Dr. YZ Ya’u
  12. CITADs Model for Digital Inclusion Agenda- Maryam Ado Haruna
  13. Understanding the ICT Policy Terrain in Nigeria- Dr. YZ Ya’u
  14. The Campaign for Digital Inclusion- Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu
  15. Alumni Commitments after the Training- Maryam Ado Haruna

 

  1. 5. Rotating Mini sessions: Practical sessions
  2. Responding to GBVO
  3. Facebook- Maryam Ado baruna
  4. Twitter- Engr. Kamal Umar
  • Instagram- Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu
  1. Internet Safety and Security
  2. Setting strong passwords – Maryam Ado baruna
  3. Safe Browsing- Engr. Kamal Umar
  • Virus and malware- Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu

 

  1. Group works
  2. GBVO 2: Has GBVO made any impact on women internet use? Describe the impact(s) GBVO made on women Internet use.
  • Women feel shut down and discouraged. They develop low self-esteem.In worse case scenarios complete denial of the use of the Internet.They hide in their shells, withdrawal.
  • Use of fake accounts or ghost account to impersonate a woman affect women a lot.
  • People use religion to cover up their misgivings for instance; in the case of Shamsiya from Jigawa, a married woman, posted a picture and someone in the comment asked if even married women still come online. That caused her tonever post her picture again. The picture was decent and contains her husband, herself and her baby.
  • Harassment: women get comment that degrade and affect them negatively.
  • Women only advocate for the rights of others and being talked to negatively put even their children at risk as the boys will feel it’s OK to abuse and make the girls to feel being abused is OK.
  • Damage to Reputation: Comments after posts damage cause damage to reputation and make women fear been online.
  • Stereotype: women get been stereotyped based on sometimes, Reference to GBVO lexicon.
  • Infringement of privacy as well as threat.
  • Causes damage to Relationships: comments after pictures are posted might break the woman’s relationship.
  • Men are the same ones too that make the “Baby, Sweetie” comments yet they break the relationship if they see it on their girlfriends’ posts
  • They resort to self-censorship
  • Lack of confidence/ vulnerability.
  • Deformation of character
  • Spread of falsehood/ rumors
  • threats to life & family
  • Rejection and social stigma at community level
  1. Digital divide 2:What brings about digital divide in Nigeria?
  • Affordability
  • Accessibility
  • Location
  • Age Divide
  • Usability
  • Benefit
  • Education
  • Language and content
  • Gender roles and expectations
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Peculiarities of people with special needs (PWDs)
  • Digital divide 2 the concept of digital divide group work
  • Cultural norms and values (including arental/spousal control)
  • Digital Skills: Internet or digital illiterate do not have the technical knowhow for Internet use. Most times they do not possess modern digital gadgets and if they do it’s mostly use for basic communication (makes and receive calls).
  • Sociocultural and Religious misconceptions: Cultural and religious doctrines perceived to prohibit women from socioeconomic activities had been transferred to technology and digital use for women. It’s perceived to be sinful and immoral to be online at specific times particularly late hours
  • Geographical location like Rural and Urban: Place with poor or with no Internet(network) will prevent the use of Internet properly.
  • Gender Based Violence Online:Attacking and bullying of women online that sometimes leads to reap and death or threats, reduces the presence of women online. Harassment can have effects on women and make them stay off Internet. Secondly, fear of fraud because women are tagged more vulnerable to frauds than men.
  • Poverty: Women are mostly dependent on their husbands for their needs and in most cases are not economically empowered which leads to high cost of acquitting and maintaining digital devices.
  1. COMMENTS
  2. We can find a way to solve GBVO but it cannot be done in one day. It demands continuous efforts and engagements.
  3. Some women hate men not because they don’t like them but because of what they have experience. And when they stood up to fight against gender injustices, they would be tagged as “feminists.” People don’t really mean a good thing when they call such women “Feminists.”
  4. The psychology of men is different from women. We just need to take note of that.
  5. Women are responsible for their liberation. Therefore, they need to stand up for themselves.
  6. Women are doing more work in the house than men, and still they go out to work as career women, but their efforts and contributions are not well recognized.
  7. Women don’t support each other because of jealousy and this is something that is dragging them backward.
  8. Women are not organized to mobilized themselves.
  9. You cannot approach women to fight for feminism without explaining to them what is women right.
  10. Women in politics are not voted because of the political party they represent and lack of support from their fellow.
  11. It is our right to get what we pay for, that is we need to make the government to sign the bill into law.
  12. We have to be continue pushing to convince the president to sign the digital right bill into law
  13. We need to make people aware about the danger of the president not signing the bill.
  14. Since the president said there some confusions that was why he didn’t sign it, we therefore need to re-define the technicalities for the president.
  15. We also need to be working with other stakeholders to make the bill signed.
  16. Laws and policy should be made that will protect women from GBVO
  17. Legislative should be aware of the importance of internet right to women and to the society in general
  18. Women are left behind online so we need to enlighten them about the importance of the internet in their lives.
  19. Questions
  20. What is the plan to engage the state assembly to sign the bill?
  21. Do you think there will be environmental sustainability after we have carried out the intervention?
  22. How does someone assess your email without your knowledge?
  23. Is there any way we can install app without them accessing it?
  24. Who controls the http?
  25. How can we create a strong password that will for people to remember it?
  26. Among the browsers which one is most secure?
  27. How do we do the stepdown training? Is it in group or individually?
  28. How soon are we expected to conduct the stepdown training?
  29. Do age matters when selecting participants?
  30. What do are you expecting from us after we have finished the need that need to be done.
  31. Can we partner with other organization?
  32. Is there any way we can respond to anything posted about us which we do not feel comfortable with?
  33. why do we need to engage stakeholders in this struggle of bridging gender digital gap?
  34. Concern Raised About Alumni Commitments
  35. The people in the same place should do the step down together, that would be better.
  36. The press conference should be joint.

 

Programme Evaluation

  • Pre-Programme Evaluation

On the first day of the training, the school started with a pre-programme evaluation to understand what was the expectation of the participants from the programme. Participants were asked in a form, their expectation from the training in general, what they expected to learn and what they intended to do with what they have learned. Below is the analysis of the participants’ responses.

  1. Expectation for the Training

One of the key expectation is learning how to use the internet more effectively, with a view of carrying women a long, as they have been left behind in this part of the country. Thus, most of the participants stated that they expected to have increased capacity on use of internet and technology in their campaign for women and girls’ rights in Nigeria and even beyond.  Some of the participants also stated that they expected to develop a network of people with common goal of bridging gender gap.  Some said that they expected a lot to be thought concerning the use of internet especially from the feminist perspectives. Another expectation as stated by one respondent was to be heavily impacted on the various concept of feminism as regards to ICT and most especially internet. She wrote, “I want to know how to break this shackle of generational ignorance women have on internet and push them towards a better understanding and utilizing of internet. I want to learn how to become an independent woman. Learning the basis of feminism.”

  1. What to Learn

The main skills the participants expected to learn more about was feminism, the application of feminism in internet advocacy and campaign, learn how to go about educating other male and female feminists on how to advocate for feminist internet. Also learn how to teach women to stand for their rights. They also stated their expectation to learn more on Digital rights, gender balance, concept of non-discrimination. Expect after the training to have a well-built capacity on the concept of feminist internet. Lastly to learn how to include the people with Disabilities and how to teach them its importance.

  1. What to do with the Skills Learned from the Training

Having learnt a lot on gender digital inclusion agenda, some of the participants stated that they intended to continue with in a more improved strategic campaigns for the rights women and girls on the internet, advocate for better user of the internet in my state and beyond, and also ensure that more women and girls know how to make effective use the internet not only for communication, but for their self- as well as societal development. Some also intended to educate women and advocate for gender digital inclusion. Stepdown trainings to other women. One of the participant intended to become a champion of changing the narratives of gender digital gap in Nigeria. Another participant said she intended to train people with disabilities from what she has learnt because none should be left behind. One more said that she has the intention set up a group of women majorly on issues of proper utilization of the internet.

  1. Post-Programme Evaluation

At the end of the 3-day training, the participants were asked to fill evaluation form to evaluate the just concluded training. There were 20 filled forms that were turned in out of the 21 that were distributed to the participants. Below is the analysis of their responses.

  1. The first question asked was whether the training has meet the participants’ expectations. All 20 responses were yes.
  2. The second question asked the participants to rate their level of satisfaction with “Excellent, Very good, Good, Fair and Poor.” Out of 20 responses, 11 responses were “excellent”, 48 rated their level of satisfaction as “Very good.” Only 1 participants rated it as “Good.”
  3. The third question asked the participants to state their reasons if they were not satisfied with the training. None of them responded to this question.
  4. The fourth question asked the participants whether their understanding on feminism and feminist internet has increased after the training. All of them said yes it has increased.
  • The participants were asked to rate their understanding on the concept of the feminism and feminist internet before the training. Among the 20 responses, 4 said that their understanding of ‘Feminism’ is excellent even before the training. Another 6 responses said they have a “very good” understanding of the concept before the training as well. 4 more said their understanding on the concept was “good”, while another 6 said their understanding on the concept was just “Fair.”
  • The participants were asked to rate their understanding on the concept of the feminism and feminist internet after the training. This was to gauge the understanding of the participants on the concept of feminism after the training. 9 out of the 20 responses rate their understanding of the concept of feminism “Excellent, while 11 said it was “very good.” This clearly showed that the training has really helped in advancing the understanding of the participants.
  1. The participants were asked also whether they found the presentations useful made during the training. All participants said” yes.”
  • Participants were also asked to rate how useful they found the presentations during the training. 10 participants rated it usefulness with “excellent”, while the other 10 rated it as “very good”
  1. Participants were also asked to rate the quality of the facilitators who took them through the presentations. 13 out of 20 rated the facilitators as “excellent”, while 7 others rated them as “very good”.
  2. The participants were also asked to state what they have learned. This was to see how impactful the training was on the participants. Most mentioned among the topics was “Internet safety and security,” “Gender Digital Inclusion” and “Feminist Internet.” Some participants also mentioned “Gender Based Violence Online and its Negative Effects on Women,” “Importance of the social media,” and the “Digital Rights.” Other topics as stated by some participants include “Creating strong password,” “Antivirus and malwares,” “Responding to GBVO,” “Digital divide,”“the Metadata,” Internet Governance Processes” as well as “Alumni commitments after the training.”
  3. Participants were asked to state the topic the found most important among all topics that were treated during the BaFIS. Their responses are arranged according to the number of mentions:
  • Gender Digital Inclusion (9)
  • Internet safety and security (5)
  • Gender Based Violence Online and its Negative Effects on Women (2)
  • Digital Divide (1)
  • Feminist Internet (1)
  • Antivirus and malwares (1)

 

  1. A similar question was asked but to list of topics they found less important. The all mentioned that all skills are important to them.
  2. The evaluation form also asked the respondents to explain what they intended to do with the skills they have learned from the training. Some of them stated stepdown training, some stated advocacy visits, while some stated the both.
  3. The participants were asked to suggests ways they think similar trainings can be improved. three among them sated that CITAD should keep repeating similar trainings with different participants to reach larger number of people with these invaluable skills, another suggested that CITAD should engage more CSO members next time, six more mentioned that CITAD needs to decrease the training hours and increase the number of training days because the training was rigorous and bulky. This is to avoid exhausting participants and losing their attention. One participant suggested that the fund for the support should be increased next time. One of them also suggested provision of free internet for participants especially during practical sessions. Another suggestion was to make the venue conducive and improve the mode of presentations. Facilitators should be more conscious about timing, stated one participant. A participants suggested also that the organisers should focus more on building participants’ knowledge extensively on campaigning, organizing, mobilizing and facilitation skills for the trainers since it is a Training of Trainers (TOT). More practical training should be included, added another participant. Two more suggested timely distribution of training materials. Another suggested that breakfast should be served before 10am and dinners should be served to participants coming from town, transport fare should also be increased, and lastly, provision should be made for PWDs.
  4. Participants were asked to rate the overall training. 10 rated it as “Excellent,” another set of 10 rated it as “Very Good.”
  5. The participants were asked to rate how conducive they found following:
  6. Accommodation: Excellent (12), Very Good (3), Good (3), Fair (1) and Poor (1).
  7. Training Venue: Excellent (9), Very Good (9) and Good (2).
  8. Training Facilities: Excellent (12), Very Good (6) and Good (2).
  9. Lunch: Excellent (11), Very Good (5), Good (4) and Fair (1).
  10. Tea break: Excellent (10), Very Good (7), Good (2) and Fair (1)

Facilitators

  • YZ Ya’u
  • Kamal Umar
  • Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu
  • Maryam Ado Haruna

Participants:

  • Adam Abdulkadir
  • Comfort Attah
  • Emmanuel Gabari
  • Faiza Shehu
  • Fatima Mukhtar Ibrahim
  • Hasiya Abubakar
  • Hauwa Umar Farouk
  • Ibrahim Basirka
  • Ismail Garba
  1. Jonathan Akpan Adole
  2. Khalid Muhammad
  3. Maryam Bala Adamu
  4. Maryam Garba Garba
  5. Maryam Garba Usman
  6. Miyauta Meyuta
  7. Precious Alfred
  8. Saratu Ishaya
  9. Suliyat Abdullahi
  10. Usman Uba Abubakar
  11. Yaku Ya’u Abdullahi
  12. Zainab Abdulkadir

 

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