Combating Online Gender-Based Violence with Technology Solutions: A Look at the AmanHA App on International Women’s Day
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, it is crucial to recognize the ongoing struggles for gender equality and the intersection of women’s rights with the technology we use daily. In recent years, technology has played a vital role in addressing social issues such as gender-based violence and discrimination. However, women, particularly those from marginalized communities, face unique challenges in accessing justice and protection. To empower women and help them secure their rights, Innovation for Change Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and SimSim-Participation Citoyenne launched an open-source, interactive digital security check-up application called AmanHA.
Use this link to watch the full news coverage of the launch event and this link to access the Innovation for change Digital security resources.”
AmanHA application responds to the growing concern of technology-facilitated violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the MENA region. The AmanHA application was launched as part of a larger initiative to create VAWG-sensitive digital security content in Arabic and support women and girls in responding to online harassment and blackmailing. It identifies online security threats, offers data protection advice, and provides personalized recommendations based on the user’s input. This will give female users the necessary knowledge and skills to protect themselves from online harassment and blackmail and raise awareness of the importance of digital security at the regional level.
Digital Ambassadors in-person event in Rabat, Morocco.
This app launch came following the launch of Aman Raqmi and Digital Safety Clinic as part of I4C MENA’s efforts to promote digital security and safety in the MENA region. Aman Raqmy 101, available on the AmanRaqmy.org platform, offers a free course in Arabic for journalists, human rights defenders, and civic actors to assess their digital security status. With a series of educative videos that cover digital threats and how to overcome them in addition to resources to help individuals protect their digital assets and maintain their online privacy.
The Digital Safety Clinic (DSClinic) is a new platform designed to provide consultations from digital security experts to tackle any digital threats that human rights defenders and individuals may face within the MENA region. The DSClinic offers a comprehensive suite of tools and resources to protect internet users from malicious online attacks and intrusive surveillance efforts. This revolutionary platform is set to change the game for internet safety.
SimSim and I4C MENA Hub launched the AmanHa mobile app on February 25, 2023 in Rabat. Ambassadors from Morocco and all across the MENA region were chosen after submitting applications for the program to promote the AmanHA app online and within their communities. The launch was divided into three sessions where participants learned about the principles of digital security and were introduced to tools and projects from SimSim and the I4C MENA Hub related to digital security. Their comments and inquiries were also discussed, and they were given instructions on how to download and use the AmanHa app on their phones. In addition, a number of journalists from independent media outlets, National Radio, and two national television news videos covered the app launch event. The action plans the participants had for supporting the AmanHa mobile app and other tools for digital security in their communities were also discussed.
The AmanHA application, available on Google Play and App Store, is a platform developed to support women’s safety and security in the MENA region. The application’s open-source design ensures that it can be localized and adapted for use in other regions. Its accessibility makes it valuable to women with limited digital literacy. Overall, these platforms are valuable resources for promoting digital safety and security in the MENA region.
In a region where women human rights defenders, female journalists, and politicians are among the most vulnerable to online threats, the AmanHA application and its digital security ambassadors will work in their respective countries and communities to promote a digital security culture among women and girls. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating the situation, the importance of such initiatives has only increased. By providing accessible resources and personalized recommendations,the AmanHA application demonstrates the power of technology to address social issues and promote gender equality.