World Pulse

UGANDA: Anthills to Airwaves

Posted November 17, 2015 from Uganda

By Loyce Kyogabirwe

I was privileged to coordinate a project on combating violence against women using ICTs. I conducted trainings with grassroots women in a remote fishing community of Namaingo located on the shores of Lake Victoria.

During the training, a 59-year-old participant shared an experience of how, many years ago, women used creative local platforms to combat violence against women. She shared that when she was a young girl, women used to look for strategic locations in the village to broadcast their messages. This location was usually an anthill. The woman would stand on top of the anthill and shout about her husband’s bad behaviors. She would say, “My husband is bad; he beats me when I give meat to the children; he is a glutton, and he abuses me all the time...” This was to let every one in the village hear about her husband’s abusive behaviors. It would prompt the villagers to gossip about him.

Musicians would even compose songs about the husband’s behavior. The shame would cause him to eventually change his ways. Today, technology has provided much more advanced platforms compared to anthills. I’ve taught women to use SMS technology to send messages to local leaders, clan leaders, and the general public condemning acts of violence against women in the community.

Mobile phones, Internet, and computers are making it possible for women to make noise so the whole world can hear us.

About This Story


Women Weave the Web Campaign

crowdsourced nearly 600 voices from 71 countries. We have synthesized these stories and solutions for inclusive technology policies in a new report—Recommendations for Women's Digital Empowerment. This story is part of the larger report, which can be downloaded in full here.

Comments 4

Log in or register to post comments
Tamarack Verrall
Nov 17, 2015
Nov 17, 2015

Dear Joyce,

What a great and powerful story! To learn of the bravery of women to broadcast violence against women by standing on a high point and calling it out, to turning to music, to discussions and tech training that you have made possible, to what we have today, was thrilling to read. I love your call to make noise so the whole world can hear us.

With love in sisterhood,


Chi Yvonne Leina
Dec 01, 2015
Dec 01, 2015

Dear Loyce,

Thanks for sharing this powerful story.It`s eye opening to notice that even in partriachal communities the power of united women cannot be underestimated.



Dec 07, 2015
Dec 07, 2015

Hi Loyce ,

you're right the technology is the most important thing for sharing like this stories keep going and help women to speak up



komezusenge charles
Jan 19, 2016
Jan 19, 2016

dear  friend  thank  you  very  much   but   could  you   contact  me  @+250787384406

to  share  some  thing   regarding   ICT for   women ?  thank  you  so  much