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Safe Sisters fight harassment and 'revenge porn' with education
Online abuse and cyber-harassment mean a disproportionate number of women remove themselves from crucial discussions. One not-for-profit is making a change for women in East Africa.
Can women protect themselves from online harassment?
In the digital age, not only do we send videos to friends and sing online karaoke with those we've never met, many are using social media to fight for equality. But online harassment, image-based sexual abuse (also called 'revenge porn') and cyberattacks can stop women especially from being part of the conversation that leads to real change. These cowardly acts also leave victims feeling embarrassed, ashamed and alone.Safe Sisters is a fellowship program empowering girls and women, especially human rights activists, journalists and those in the media, to fight online abuse. In Defenders of Digital season two episode five, Safe Sisters' Immaculate Nabwire explains a landmark Ugandan image-based sexual abuse case that inspires her, the digital threats women in East Africa face and how her team are fighting for change.
Parents and educators have long been asking to more actively digitize schools and education in general. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed analogue classrooms into remote schools from one day to another, thus showing how many schools are way behind the expectations of modern learning. But to get students through the year, teachers had to rely on collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Listen to our feature at the Transatlantic Cable Podcast and unlock how the education of tomorrow may look like, with our very own David Jacoby.
Remote schoolingPhoto by kyo azuma on Unsplash
Facing the pandemic, a lot of schools had to rely on remote education to be able to get students through the school year. Some parents experienced that their children had more time to dive deeper into topics, and catch up with subjects they missed at school – others had to make sure their children are actively following the remote class of their teachers and not finding something more "interesting" to waste their time on. For some children the new way of learning empowered them to schedule their learning sessions more flexible, giving them a taste of self-organization.
In Switzerland some schools started real-life projects, where children were able decide which one they wanted to be a part of. "I spoke with a mother saying: My kid is working and learning at least twelve hours, it's difficult to stop them", says Filip Dochy, "This raises a key question, as how to change education so that there is a mixture between the technology being used by children and making children curious again. Because if there is one thing schools nowadays are unlearning from children, it is curiosity."
But not all countries have the same privileges when it comes to using technologies: "In Colombia we have different realities and that is the main challenge the government is facing right now: trying to give access to people who live outside the cities, and don't have computers, smartphones or internet." (Daniela Alvarez de Lugo)
But even though "schools were not really prepared for it, they actually, to my surprise, reacted very well. At least in my experience." (Riccardo de Rinaldini)
The future of educationPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
To understand more about what educators and parents can learn from the current situation, and how school systems have to change going forward in order to bring relevance and joy back to education, David Jacoby invited Filip Dochy, an expert on education at the European Academy of Science (AE), and two parents Daniela Alvarez De Lugo and Riccardo de Rinaldini to walk us through their experiences during lockdown and talk about the future of education.
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