Editorial: Rural women have better chances of surviving cyber onslaughts if prepared early

An interesting seminar took place yesterday organized by the Association of Rwandan women in media (Arfem), Women@Web and Rwanda Media Commission (RMC).

The goal of the seminar was to chart ways to see how more women can have more presence online because studies show they lag behind their male counterparts.

The topic itself had no problem but there was too much globalization yet the focus should have been more on rural women.

Urban women have as much chance of getting an online presence as the men as there are fewer taboos to deal with. In urban settings, the internet is part of life that slow internet speeds cause anxiety, bad moods or even anger.

In the rural areas they deal with less psychological stress brought about by the internet because of little access, but that is a plus; they have not been contaminated yet. Empowering them with cyber etiquette and the fact that they have unfettered access to cyberspace where they are in control will better prepare them from cyberbullying and other crimes.

They should be able to stand on their own two feet and defend their turf, not waiting for some dashing prince to come to their rescue.
Most of all it is about teaching them their rights, and as Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) pointed out, women are the most targeted by cybercrime. They are prime targets for bullying, stalking defamation and being turned into sexual objects.

But then, the law is on their side and they should use it unsparingly since they are in the driving seat, all they need to do is steer in the right direction.