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SAC Workshop Tackles Online Gender-Based Violence

By Ashley Ndhlovu

Forty women from Bulawayo and Plumtree recently underwent training through the Skill A Community (SAC), an initiative led by Racheal Voko Ncube aimed at empowering female creatives with digital safety and security tools.

The workshop, supported by the Culture Fund and the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe, addressed crucial issues such as Online Gender-Based Violence (OGBV), safe internet browsing, and digital hygiene.

OGBV emerged as a prevalent concern, with renowned model, brand ambassador, and actor Ben Chest sharing his own experiences. Chest emphasized the detrimental impact of OGBV on mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. He also warned against potential security risks associated with downloading suspicious content.

The workshop highlighted severe consequences of OGBV, including revenge porn, hacked phones, and the unsolicited sharing of personal content. These actions can lead to suicidal thoughts, loss of privacy, and endangerment of loved ones.

SAC encouraged participants to use art forms such as spoken word, talk shows, and speeches to raise awareness about OGBV. This approach, known as “Artivism,” leverages art to address social norms and issues affecting communities.

Participants were urged to promote hashtags such as #stopOGBV and #girlslivesmatter to raise awareness online. They also developed action plans to train others within their reach, ensuring that the workshop’s benefits would extend far beyond the initial attendees.

SAC’s Digital Safety and Security training equipped participants with lifelong skills, creating a ripple effect that will empower Zimbabwean communities in the fight against OGBV and promote digital safety.

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