Uganda has seen tremendous growth in mobile penetration, and access to the internet; for example, teledensity estimates in 2015 were 64%. The country also continues to experience growth in the internet subscription, with a 37.4% internet penetration rate in the same time period. With these advancements in access, there is also a marked rise in the incidence of cybercrime such as fraud, hacking and identity theft.
An increasingly worrying trend amongst cybercrimes is online violence against womxn and the numbers increase exponentially. When queer womxn, non-binary persons and sex workers are added to the equation.
In the recent U.N. report, cyber violence was found to be just as damaging to womxn as physical violence. The report goes on to indicate that womxn are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber violence with growing access to internet across the world, which could in turn detrimentally impede the uptake of broadband services by girls and womxn worldwide.
“Online violence has subverted the original positive promise to the internet freedoms and into many circumstances has made it a chilling space that permits anonymous cruelty and facilitates harmful acts towards womxn and girls “
-Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN women.