Archive for February 27th, 2012

Skills development is one of the critical ICT interventions and as such, in November 2010, a group of grassroots women paralegals in Namaingo district Eastern Uganda were equipped with ICTs skills    as one of the efforts to enable them utilise ICT tools in   combating violence against women in their communities..

The  ICT training emphasized the use of  new tools  of  communication such as   use of mobile telephone applications  and  social media.

The women have been able to use ICT to raise awareness on issues of VAW in their community using bulk SMS and  share their stories through blogging. On the otherhand, ICT has been more than just the tools for communication  but an aid in executing their duties of resolving misunderstandings in families.

In one of the chats I had with the women paralegals recently,they  confessed that had it been the use of ICT tools ie the digital camera and a recorder, they would have failed to intervene.

“The   camera and a recorder has eased our work, there are men who refuse to engage in mediation.  We just get out our camera and a recorder to record a woman’s statement and to take her  picture. This leaves the man shaking thinking that this will be published in the media and he soften  and agrees to settle the matter”.

This is because men fear to be exposed.

The women went further ahead to share a story of a man in one village called Bukhemba who  battered his wife and abandoned her  with  the children. The woman was refered  to the paralegals  in that village  for help. The paralegals  Grace and Gettu  intervened  in the matter with the support of the local council leadership. At first the man had refused to talk to them  and when Grace got out a camera and a recorder from the bag and the man thought that he was  going to be publicized in the media  and he accepted to talk and confirmed that he had beaten his wife because she had delayed to get the goats in the field. The man had also refused the woman not to dig in her land and he  had married another wife.

After the negotiations and mediation, the man  apologized to the woman and agreed to take care of her. He also agreed to build for her another house  within three months. The woman was living in a small shark with was almost falling down.

This is one of the several cases  where ICT tools have been more than just tools but an aid in combating violence against women.

If the women did not have ICT skills, it would have been a little bit difficult and   and somehow challenging to convince  men to engage in mediation  to resolve domestic misunderstandings.

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