Alarm over online attacks against women journalists

For two years, Alice Playle received email messages which said she was being watched, which asked questions about her sex life and called her a “slag.” PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Association of Media Women in Kenya has condemned online attacks on women journalists.

Executive Director Marceline Nyambala yesterday said female journalists’ rights must be protected as women faced a challenge because the society was patriarchal.

“Digital harassment leads to women withdrawing from the use of the Internet and, in many cases, they have left work for some time. It has also changed the patterns of online interaction by women,” she said during a forum in Nairobi.

Ms Nyambala said technology assisted violence against women is on the rise and included cyber bullying, trolling, cyber stalking, defamation/hate speech, online harassment, public shaming, identity theft, hacking among other offences.

“Although it is different from physical violence, it relates to verbal and psychological violence,” she said.

According to reports released between January and September 2015, a total of 65 journalists and social media users among them seven women had been attacked in 42 separate incidents.


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