Centre Seeks Law to Prevent Online Harassment of Women

The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), has called on the Federal Government to introduce internet safety and security in the nation’s computer studies curriculum.

Hajiya Maryam Ado-Haruna, the CITAD Programme Assistant, Gender and Internet Advocacy, made the call on Thursday while briefing newsmen in Kano on the outcome of its research on Gender-Based Violence Online.

She also called for the introduction of privacy and personal data protection law in the country.

The official further canvassed for effective implementation of the “Do Not Disturb” policy of the Nigerian Communication Commission which requires service providers to stop sending unsolicited messages by third parties.

On the research, she said: “Gender Based Violence Online (GBVO) is an act of cyber crime carried out against a woman because she is a woman; the crime is primarily carried out to injure her feelings, damage her reputation or tarnish her image.”

According to her, from the data generated, it is clear that gender-based violence online is one of the cross-cutting issues affecting women’s full use of the internet.

“The results of the studies have shown that women in northern Nigeria are being subjected to various forms of online violence such as harassment, intimidation and threat which tends to discourage them from using internet.

“In our campaign over the radio and other medium of mass communication, we advised women about decency and moral conduct online in order not to directly invite GBVO to themselves.”

Ado-Haruna urged women to understand and mitigate the risks they might face in the course of accessing the internet.

She said women must know and understand the privacy and personal applications to secure their online addresses and protect themselves from online harassment.