Hawa Feminist Coalition, the only feminist-led organization in Somalia, has concluded a two-day training on digital safety for 31 members of the organization’s staff and volunteers in Garowe, Somalia. This is the first time that our staff and volunteers have been given such important information about how to deal with the bullying and sexual harassment they face online in Somalia.
Our feminist activists, who are subjected to constant online harassment, are now learning how to respond to those risks and stay safe online. Online violence against women and girls is an increasing concern in Somalia and is becoming widespread, while offline violence such as domestic violence, rape, and sexual abuse are prevalent throughout the country. Our young feminist activists who are brave enough to speak out in public are often attacked online, which makes many of them leave the online public space.
In this training, they learned about encryption, anonymity, and digital security tools to stay safe online and not give up because of online bullying and sexual harassment. During the training, they have also learned about a range of digital safety related topics, including phishing, vishing, ransomware, malware, password protection, information security, social engineering, physical security, mobile device security, email security, working remotely, cloud security, social media, safe web browsing, risk management, and incident reporting.
The training, which was highly participatory and interactive, was facilitated by a trainer with advanced experience and knowledge in information security and computer security. A range of practical activities were employed during the training, such as learning how to deal with and respond to different threats like cyber-harassment, trolling, doxing, non-consensual image distribution, and others. as well as practical demonstrations on installing and using the most essential digital security software and forming good habits online.
Our young feminist activists are now strong enough to identify, prevent, and respond to the digital threats they face on online platforms. and this is expected to contribute to our long-term resilience and sustainability by helping us respond to digital threats and stay safe online.