In the lead-up to this year’s International Women’s Day, it is important to remember that every woman and girl deserves to feel safe – online as well as in real life.
In December last year, Save the Children and Meta (formerly Facebook) launched the new phase of the ‘I Am Digital’ online safety education campaign across seven Pacific Island countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
This new phase of the initiative followed the pilot launch of the program which took place in February 2021, in Fiji, PNG, Samoa and Tonga, which aimed to educate and empower young people and parents across the Pacific Islands to have safer, more positive online experiences. For Phase 2, new, targeted educational resources were developed, including to focus on online safety for women and girls.
An extract from the educational material highlights that, “Around the world, women and girls can experience exploitation, abuse and harassment, simply because they are women and girls. This can happen online as well as in real life.”
According to an article on UN Women Asia and the Pacific’s website, “Women and girls in the Pacific region experience constant and continual inequalities including low levels of participation in decision making, limited economic opportunities, restricted access to basic services and rights.”
In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5 which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, the Australian government “announced an A$170 million programme for the Pacific region to strengthen gender equality initiatives over the next five years [2021 to 2026].”
Shairana Ali, Save the Children’s Chief Executive Officer explained that, “For phase 2 of I Am Digital, we wanted to build on the foundation of online safety and extend into other issues that affect our communities. The subject of women and girls in regards to gender inequality is something that needs to be urgently addressed along with a change of mindsets.”
“We hope that these new materials will further educate youths and especially parents on the importance of creating a safe space for every female in all spheres of life, whether online or offline.”
With International Women’s Day to be observed on March 8th 2022, Save the Children wishes all women and girls throughout the Pacific region, a safe and progressive step on the road to gender inclusivity.
Phase 2 of the I Am Digital campaign ran from 1st December 2021 to 30th January 2022. Campaign material can be accessed on dedicated Facebook pages for each country:
● Regional: https://www.facebook.com/FBandSCiamdigitalpac
● Solomon Islands: https://www.facebook.com/FBandSCiamdigital.solomonislands
To download the complete suite of I Am Digital educational resources, visit the website: https://wethinkdigital.fb.com/pc/en-us/iamdigital/
Source: Press Release
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