Achieving equality between women and men and getting rid of all forms of discrimination against women, are fundamental human rights. Women’s Rights are Human Rights. Millions of women around the world continue to experience discrimination and suffer violations of their human rights. These include:
- the right to education
- sexual and reproductive health choices
- equal pay and opportunity in the workplace
- access to and control of their own technology
At Phambano Technology Development Centre NPC we are committed to helping nonprofit organisations that serve women and girls by addressing the digital challenges they face; educating them about online abuse and safety, and helping them create powerful digital advocacy campaigns to advance their cause.
Women’s Day in South Africa is an annual reminder of how instrumental women have been over the years in changing the course of our country’s history.
On 9 August 1956, women from all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds rallied together and converged on the Union Buildings in Pretoria under the auspices of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) in protest against the Pass Laws, and they delivered 100 000 signatures
While we may not be fighting for the right to vote in 2021, we should still be drawing attention to issues that affect women today, ensuring that they are placed on both national, local and corporate agendas, for the greater good, such as:
- Equal pay
- Flexible working hours
- Sick leave for parents when children are ill
- Parenting education & support
- Women against abuse
- Sexual harassment in the workplace
- Equal salaries
- Sexual violence
- Domestic violence
- Creating women’s forums in the workplace
- Creating parent forms in the workplace
- Keeping girl children in school
Change happens by choice and by standing up for what we believe is right. As a woman, ask yourself, what are you prepared to take a stand for today, if not to help yourself, then perhaps to help other women more vulnerable than you? Women’s Day is a reminder of that.
Inspired women become an inspiration to others. When women are inspired, they take action and are more supportive of others.
The Digital Divide
Digital access has the potential to transform entire communities — especially in isolated rural areas — but in many cases without internet access or knowledge of today’s technologies, communities are shut off from progress and are being left behind. Sadly, this affects women more than men, stemming from other restraints they face, such as digital access being denied by a partner or spouse.
Access, affordability, education, usability and relevance, are five global factors of digital divide. Knowing this, we created the #Tech2EndGBV community under our eSafety Southern Africa programme to assist women-led and serving nonprofit organisations. Our areas of focus include:
- Digital Advocacy
- Online Safety
Advocating against GBV is a collective social responsibility. #Tech2EndGBV encourages nonprofits and their beneficiaries to:
- use technology responsibly
- support each other through social media platforms
- share resources and knowledge
Nonprofit digital advocacy campaigns require a great deal of planning and teamwork. Social media will without a doubt play the pivotal role in your campaign. Marketing teams within nonprofit organisations are often challenged to raise awareness, donor interest, and funds with limited time and resources.
If that sounds like something your organisation has experienced, we have some tips below:
- Determine your Call To Action (CTA)
Think of your call to action as a way to grab people’s attention in less than 2 seconds. In other words, if you had to compress your mission into just a few words, what would it be? Remember it needs to attract donors, supporters, influencers, and volunteers alike.
- Communicate the goal of your campaign
- Be clear & descriptive
- Be informative
- Be creative – tell a story or share video
- Where to host your campaign
Not only does social media marketing have the potential to reach millions of people, but it provides nonprofit organisations the ability to showcase their brand personalities and engage with followers and supporters. Which social media platforms are your audiences on? Do you have a website for your campaign? If so, have you created a dedicated landing page to direct your campaign traffic to?
- How to get people to engage with your campaign online – post types and prompts
- Host a webinar or “Q&A” session
- Share other people’s content that is relevant to your campaign
- Make your posts visual
- Add relevant hashtags (#) to your posts
- Create polls & surveys
- Post frequently (and at optimal times)
- Create a social calendar for consistent posting
- Go live & get visual – use stories & reels
- Tag and mention other Nonprofits, Projects, and People who are likeminded (with their permission)
- Keep the conversation going. If people engage – respond
- Host an “Ask Me” session
- Showcase Volunteers, Employees, and Behind-the-Scenes Footage
An effective password can prevent your nonprofit organisation from getting hacked or experiencing a cyber security threat. Often, nonprofits don’t quite understand how to create and manage strong and effective passwords. A good password is one the includes upper and lowercase characters, special symbols and numbers. An effective and strong password is one that incorporates a phrase into the mix with abbreviation. A practical and free way to learn how to manage and create strong passwords to protect your nonprofit organisation online is to complete the password module creation in the Be Internet Awesome program (Secure Your Secrets) offered by Google.
Many nonprofit organisations rely on other people’s WIFI or data to manage their online activities. Many beneficiaries of nonprofit organisations rely on data hotspots, WIFI hotspots, public libraries and internet cafes to perform their online activities. It is important to know that when you are connecting to a WIFI network you must understand:
- what type of network you’re connecting to
- who has access to that network and,
- what restrictions and / or security parameters are in place on that network?
It is also important to consider that if you are providing your WIFI network for others to connect to that you ensure it has a strong and secure password and to regularly change that password.
Many of us have received a notification on our desktop or laptop devices that Microsoft needs to be updated. The reason for this is that Microsoft needs to deliver (through cloud technology) their latest security patch or software update to help your Microsoft software run smoothly. It is critically important to ensure that your software on laptops, smartphones, desktops and tablets are updated and compliant. It is also important to remember that if you have downloaded illegal software you could be putting your device or nonprofit organisation at risk online.
Regular auditing of platforms, devices and connected accounts
Once you have secured your passwords, understand your WIFI networks and know that your software is compliant, it is important to regularly audit the different social media platforms you belong to and the different devices you have linked to your software. You may also want to check your email addresses as well as the different accounts that you might have created online in the form of third-party accounts that help manage your online activities. A good rule of thumb is to do an audit of all of the above at least once every 3 months, for example, write down in a notebook:
- 1 x Facebook Account – I use my personal email address to log in, must change my password on xyz date. 2FA is in place for this account.
By regularly monitoring and auditing the types of platforms, devices and accounts you have, you’ll be able to manage your online safety from a holistic view and keep track of problematic areas or areas that are secure and work well.