Facebook says it has hosted a Women’s Safety roundtable in Kenya to highlight how the community can work together to create a harassment-free online environment where everyone can feel safe to share and interact.
The roundtable attracted participants from NGOs, academia, women’s rights groups, and safety organisations from Kenya and across Sub-Saharan Africa, the technology company says.
The roundtable, which coincided with Safer Internet Day (February 9, 2016), a 100-country effort to make the Internet a better place for everyone who uses it, was the first to be held around the world, with others to follow in Ireland, the Middle East, India and the US, according to the social media giant. The focus was on addressing the issues of online harassment of women.
“We have a community of nearly 1.6 billion people, and we work hard to develop our global policies that focus on safety, encouraging online respect, and honouring the cultural diversity of our platform. It is absolutely critical that we spend time with our partners around the world to listen and learn how we can do better as we develop our policies and educate people about how they can stay safe”, Antigone Davis, Head of Global Safety for Facebook says.
“Facebook is an important way for people in Africa to connect and share, and we’re committed to working with our partners to ensure our community, especially women, feel safe when they use our platform,” Ebele Okobi, Head of Public Policy Africa for Facebook adds. “This roundtable, our first in a global series, has proved invaluable to gaining insight to our approach in Kenya and across Sub-Saharan Africa. We look forward to continuing the conversation in order to better reflect our community and develop the right policies.”
Facebook says it is working with partners such as Watoto Watch in Kenya, SHIFT in Nigeria and J Initiative in Ghana to ensure the safety and education of their communities and address the needs of vulnerable people.
African countries represented at the event, according to Facebook included Kenya, Malawi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Zambia.