The International Girls in ICT Day is an annual global event that was initiated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). It is commemorated every fourth Thursday of the month of April to create awareness and call for more participation of womxn and girls within the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

Under this year’s theme “Digital skills for all”, HER Internet convened 20 womxn for a virtual Digital Safety Training on Circumvention Techniques on Wednesday 19th April 2023 ahead of the International Girls in ICT Day with support from the Tor Project team. The workshop was facilitated by our Detailer at HER Internet, Kettie Kahume, with the objective to check in on the digital safety of the participants, share a recap on the circumvention tools and introduction to the Snowflake proxy.

Simply defined, Tor browser (otherwise known as The Onion Router) is a web browser that enables internet users browse privately and explore freely away from “prying eyes” that track or surveil their online activities as well as circumvent censorship. Hence, the Tor browser counters non-consensual tracking or data mining, prevent some VPNs from getting and sharing the users’ free information, helps bypass censorship on the internet and evades surveillance.

The Snowflake proxy is an extension that allows people from around the world a double layer of protection via Tor network through further disguising one’s own online activities. Kettie explained in her presentation that the Snowflake feature is embedded in the existing apps and devices that have access to the Tor networks both on mobile phones and desktops. She further suggested that both Tor browser and snowflake should be downloaded or accessed via the official Tor website directly for authenticity reasons. It was also noted that digital security can’t be discussed or practiced without digital literacy which should also be prioritized especially for structurally silenced groups in remote and rural areas who mostly lack this knowledge.

To wrap it all up, HER Internet was appreciated for the informative responses in the sessions and attendees called for more deep dive digital safety trainings to popularize Tor services for online privacy and anonymity. Other mitigation measures were also suggested to upgrade digital security amidst the evolving and emerging trends of online attacks especially through social media apps. These included; the adaptation of safe VPNs, cautiousness while sharing information and content online, sharing hints and tips on online safety through awareness campaigns and individual responsibility for safety through scrutiny and vigilance.


The cases of Non- consensual Circulation of Intimate Imagery (NCII) have increased alarmingly across various mass media and social media platforms in Uganda especially in the recent few months. This problem has been escalated by unawareness and adamance of the general public and law enforcement to recognize that forms of online abuse generate real life impacts that result into unfortunate consequences especially in the long term.

Furthermore, the lack of gender responsive provisions even within the current cyber legislation has reinforced the re-victimization of OGBV victims and survivors specifically womxn and girls who are considered offenders under the Anti- Pornography Act 2014 for the creation and distribution of pornographic content. And, that’s why several cases constantly go unreported without even trying to seek for redress.

It is due to the above-mentioned facts that we dedicated time during this last month of March in observance of Women’s Month to conduct an awareness advocacy drive through our social media platforms in an endeavor to unmask the facts, forms and share suggestions on how the vice of Non-consensual Circulation of Intimate Images (NCII) can be tackled.


We attended the annual Uganda Social Media Convention #SMC2023 organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Uganda country office at the MCI Media Hub in Kampala on Thursday 23rd March 2023. Themed Social Media, AI and the Future of Governance, the aim of this conference was to convene various key stakeholders from the government, civil society, academia and media to take part in deep dive engagements on the relevance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and social media by highlighting the opportunities, challenges and impacts with consideration of how information is accessed and processed.

The event comprised of a social media exhibition, interactive plenary sessions, expert roundtables and workshops concerning the new forms of civic engagement, storytelling, digital economy, building social movements and connected communities, data colonialism, digital privacy and protection through social media and generative AI among other topical discussions. For recaps on this event and the previous editions, please visit;


From 14th to 15th March 2023, we attended a knowledge and skills enhancement training on Gender Responsive Communication for Policy Development Processes hosted by Uganda Women’s Network (UWONET) Secretariat in Kampala. The two days’ workshop specifically targeted Advocacy and Communications Officers to direct attention to the importance of effective messaging and communication framework or guidelines in ensuring a progressive women’s rights agenda based on #Communication4PolicyDevt, an evidence-based communications research using the Natural Language Processing approach which was produced by UWONET in 2019.

Facilitators, Justine Atim and Shawn Oseku brainstorm with the participants in a session on Principles and Recommendations to Gender Responsive Reporting.

Topical discussions covered the development of a media gender content audit report, gender representation in media drawing a clear understanding on the current relationship between mass media and gender along with proposed recommendations to address the concerning realities, issues and challenges to gender responsive reporting in Uganda.

Emphasis was put on encouragement of gender responsive approaches to resources and research, regular engagements with media, building mentorship and expertise among women which will enable them to engage more in public discourses and become sources from a point of knowledge on the issues that affect them, and finally, utilization of the available laws and policies that ensure gender equality such as the CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).


On Friday 10 March 2023, we were delighted to participate at the virtual side event that was hosted at the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women #CSW67 NGO Forum by Initiative Sankofa d’Afrique de I’Ouest (ISDAO) in collaboration with UHAI-EASHRI titled “WE, WOMEN, WEB ACTIVISTS – Principles, Outcomes, and Perspectives of Feminist Digital Activism for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls.”

The discussion at this particular event revolved around the emerging and new online strategies that can be used to foster inclusion and engagement of womxn and other structurally silenced groups amidst the limited digital literacy and access, building connections with communities living in rural areas while gauging the pros, cons and challenges of feminist digital activism in West, East and Central Africa.

According to the United Nations Foundation, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The #CSW67 physically took place in New York from 6th to 17th March this year under the priority theme “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.


The UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report indicates that online violence has largely contributed to the exclusion of womxn from online platforms and continues to widen the digital gender divide. This has resulted into a loss of $1 trillion from the gross domestic product especially in low- and middle-income countries in the last 10 years and will continue to increase to $1.5 trillion by 2025 if action is not taken.

In light of this background, we hosted our traditional week-long online awareness advocacy drive leading up to #IWD2023 under the global theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality” by sharing some reflections, insights and recommendations using our resources to address the problem of online violence and widening digital gender divide in Uganda.

We also engaged in a special edition episode of #WomenSpeaking which aired on Civic Space TV YouTube channel in alignment with the year’s #IWD2023 international theme to celebrate Ugandan women breaking barriers in tech and what can be done to address the increasing issue of online violence to close the gender digital gap. To catch up with this conversation, check out 🔗

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us or scroll through our website to access publications for more information on the different forms of online violence and suggestions on how they can be addressed.



Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) hosted a training workshop on Advocacy Strategies for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and partners under their #FemTech project on Thursday 9th February 2023 in Kampala. The #FemTech project which is currently supported by Internews in Uganda aims at empowering Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) to fully engage and safely participate in digital spaces through digital safety trainings and long-term systemic policy advocacy to help women survive and thrive in a digital world.

In her introduction, Sandra Aceng, the Project Manager at WOUGNET shared an overview of the project and noted that the current rise of Online Gender Based Violence against women especially WHRDs and female journalists is a pervasive threat worldwide especially in Africa due to the acceleration of technology through harassment and hate speech which stifle women’s ability to participate freely online. “If these trends continue, instead of technology empowering women, online spaces ‘may’ actually widen sex and gender-based discrimination and violence in the global society,” Sandra cautioned.

The increasing levels of online harassment, unreliable legal system and availability of few female digital security trainers are among the current challenges faced by WHRDs in protecting themselves online. The discussions in this meeting also explored the limitations in filing complaints about online violence to local law enforcement which constituted victimization, trivialization of cases and effects of online violence, compelling victims and survivors to collect evidence, interrogations in abusive or belittling ways, non-consensual sharing or distribution of content or images among police officers for their own entertainment and double standards in enforcement of the cyber laws which continue to make efforts against online violence more futile.

To counter the issues raised above, suggestions on solutions called attention to the enactment of laws that can deter online violence, provision of training materials and resources to help close the digital gender gap, documentation and fact finding by recording of information on incidents, trends and patterns of online violence, mass digital safety trainings and education of stakeholders that specially target legal practitioners and law enforcement officers and embracing the power of strategic litigation. It is also essential for digital security trainers to address the barriers of access to information for particular marginalized communities such as differently abled persons to make certain that the information availed to them all inclusive.


On behalf of HER Internet, our Anchor, Sandra Kwikiriza joined Seyi Akiwowo (CEO & Founder, Glitch), Nina Jankowicz (Vice President, Centre for Information Resilience), Jac sm Kee (Co- Founder and Cartographer, Numun Fund) in an enlightening conversation online hosted by Eliza Anyangwe (Managing Editor, CNN’s Gender #AsEquals team ) following the ‘Systems Error’ investigative series which interrogates important issues and insights on “how does your gender affect your life online?” on Thursday 9 February 2023.

The gist of this conversation was that; gender and gender identity/ expression does indeed influence an individual’s access to digital technologies and further shapes their experiences online if they gain access, internet shutdowns have continuously been used by various state governments to exclude and surveil their citizens especially minority groups and also highlighted a positive note on the power of digital citizens to influence the current workings of various tools and platforms in favor of a safer and better internet environment for all in the future.

To read more on this;


Together with Data4Change, Internews organized a 3-day virtual interactive Strategic Communications Workshop Series for Greater Internet Freedom (GIF) partners to share knowledge, gain new skills and build on existing strengths in advancing internet freedoms across the globe from 23 January to 25 January 2023. The Greater Internet Freedom (GIF) Consortium is an initiative that was organized by Internews in 2020 for the protection and preservation of digital rights and safety of the civil society, journalists, human rights defenders, activists and structurally marginalized communities which rely on an open and accessible internet to fight and realize fundamental freedoms.

Some of the participants including our Notifier at HER Internet, Diana Karungi who took part in the Strategic Communications Workshop Series for GIF consortium partners.

30 internet freedom activists participated in this event through practical group and individual activities under three different themes;

“Connecting the Dots: Assessing your needs to communicate with Impact and the learning objectives” which looked at assessment of communication needs, fundamentals of strategic communications and experience sharing lessons and best practices.

“Bracing for Impact: How to Craft Compelling Stories From Your Numbers and the learning objectives” which indulged participants on how to find data to tell their stories more effectively, unearthing the story behind the numbers ways to communicate numbers effectively to make an impact.

“Social Savvy: Tailoring Your Approach to Your Audience and the learning objectives” which accentuated the significance of primary and secondary audience, identifying the most effective channels for communication using both online and offline platforms and development of social and platform targeted content.

The overwhelming positive feedback from this training signified that the goal set for this workshop was achieved, which was to strengthen the participants’ confidence in identifying and focusing on strategic communication goals, mapping out audiences, understanding how to adapt communication to respective needs and motivations of their audiences and using data to strengthen messaging frameworks and narratives.

Biannual Newsletter 2022 Issue 4.

Want to know more about recent updates in our work at HER internet? Well, the Fourth Edition of our Biannual Newsletter is finally here! Download a free copy now and stay in the loop about highlights that took place in the second half of 2022 by clicking:

We remain grateful to all partners, allies and communities that supported our work throughout last year in all shape and form. Thank you! You can also reach out and engage with us through our socials (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp) or email: