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Zambia Launches Groundbreaking Report on Online Gender-Based Violence

The Zambian Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati, commended the collaborative effort that led to the launch of the “Effects of Online Gender-Based Violence” report. 

The report is the result of a joint research assessment conducted by the Zambia Information Communication and Technology Authority (ZICTA), with support from the Republics of Ireland and Sweden, along with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) serving as the lead agency on international development.

During the launch event, Minister Mutati emphasized the transformative impact of digital technologies on human lifestyles and livelihoods, especially in communication approaches. 

He underscored the significance of acknowledging the reality of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the online sphere, urging officials not to remain silent but to collaborate in addressing this pervasive threat.

Recognizing the imperative need to establish a safe and inclusive digital space, Minister Mutati stressed the importance of creating opportunities to combat Gender-Based Violence effectively. 

He asserted that technologies should be harnessed for positive purposes, including the generation of new job opportunities.

In an effort to promote gender inclusivity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, Minister Mutati encouraged girls to pursue STEM education, challenging the misconception that these fields are primarily for boys. 

He shared his satisfaction with the fact that, during a previous STEM engagement, girls demonstrated a top-notch performance, constituting sixty percent of the participants.

Minister Mutati called upon ZICTA and stakeholders to support the increase of women’s internet access levels from the current forty-five percent to over eighty percent. 

Addressing the existing issue of online GBV against women, he stressed the need for informed action and decisions, advocating for the implementation of mechanisms to control and prevent internet abuse against women.

The Minister’s remarks underscored the government’s commitment to fostering a digital environment that empowers women and girls while actively addressing the challenges posed by online Gender-Based Violence. 

As the report is launched, Zambians expect it to serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, advocates, and stakeholders working towards creating a safer and more inclusive digital space in Zambia.

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