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.
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