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The Centre for Human Rights partnered with Paradigm Initiative in advancing digital rights in Africa through the Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellowship (DRIMF) that is offered by Paradigm Initiative. DRIMF is offered twice every year and is aimed at exposing the participants to the digital rights landscape and enhancing their knowledge and skills in digital rights in Africa.

As part of the fellowship, the Centre for Human Rights’  Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit offered an academic course on digital rights in Africa between March and June 2021. The Digital Rights in Africa course targeted participants from various countries in Africa and was delivered by renowned digital rights experts on the continent. It covered themes such as elections in the digital age, artificial intelligence, privacy and data protection, rights of vulnerable and marginalised groups as well as freedom of expression, access to information in the digital age. 

As part of the course and a contribution to the Centre for Human Rights’ #Tech4Rights campaign, this episode discusses Women’s rights in the digital age in Africa. The Centre for Human Rights’ 2021 theme, #Tech4Rights: Rethinking a human rights-based approach to new technologies in Africa, focuses on the intersection between technology and human rights. As part of the campaign, the Centre for Human Rights is running a series of activities that look into technology from the perspective of various thematic areas of human rights. The Digital Rights in Africa course is one of the activities that are aimed at advancing the #Tech4Rights campaign. 

This podcast episode is a conversation between Hlengiwe Dube of the Centre for Human Rights and Khadijah El-Usman, one of the participants of the Digital Rights in Africa course on the status of women in the digital age. The discussion highlights the benefits of access to the internet and other digital technologies to women; the digital gender divide, meaningful connectivity and barriers to meaningful connectivity; and violence against women online and possible remedies that can be adopted. 

Khadijah El-Usman is a legal practitioner and currently works as a program officer at Paradigm Initiative. She leads the digital rights team for Anglophone West-Africa and focuses on advancing Internet freedom, and monitors the legal and policy framework around ICTs across Africa, to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected online.