Tech giant Google has signed a deal with the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) that would see the lawmakers protected from cyberbullying.
Google Eastern Africa Country Director, Agnes Gathaiya, noted that the company will also offer training to current members of Parliament (MPs) as well as female aspirants.
The training will be delivered through a programme dubbed #Iamremarkable, which seeks to empower women to speak out and overcome social and cultural barriers.
“Google is deeply concerned about gender equity and diversity. Through our collaboration, we are able to make programmes such as #IamRemarkable and Digital Skills for Women contribute to restoring the gender gap in social and economic opportunity,” Gathaiya stated on Tuesday, March 22.
KEWOPA Chairperson and Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba lauded collaboration emphasizing that violence against women was a serious issue including online toxicity.
The training will use art, culture and media to promote positive social transformation, as part of strategies to fight gender-based aggression towards female lawmakers.
The partnership between Google and KEWOPA will further see legislators equipped with a digital safety tools that will shield them from online badgering, especially on Twitter. In line with this, Google launched the 'Harassment Manager', a free online tool.
Harassment Manager will enable users to detect toxic and harmful comments by reviewing tweets based on hashtags, usernames, keywords or dates. It will automatically block perpetrators of harassment and hide demeaning replies to tweets.
Protection from online abuse will complement efforts by the Interior Ministry, led by Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang'i in a bid to root out abuse and persecution of female politicians.
On November 1, Matiang'i told county commissioners and National Government Administration Officials (NGAOs) to give special attention to the vulnerable groups and protect them from intimidation or violent attacks.
"The maturity of our democracy will be tested on the level of participation of every voter and aspirant in the elections, including women and the vulnerable population. We really want women to participate in the forthcoming elections without any hindrance, and if they want any support, they should be accorded,” Dr. Matiang’i declared
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