Plan International Malawi has unveiled Second Lady Mary Chilima as its ambassador against online harassment against girls and young women.
In a statement, Plan International Malawi country director Phoebe Kasoga said a survey conducted recently by the organisation indicated that girls and young women are being harassed online worldwide.
“These attacks may not be physical, but they threaten and limit girls’ freedom of expression. Driving girls out of online spaces disempowers the girls as it makes them unable to be seen, heard and become leaders,” she said.
Kasoga said it was disappointing to note that after being harassed online, girls and young women are left to deal with the violence alone.
Speaking after signing as the campaign’s ambassador, Chilima said she understands cyberbullying.
She said: “I am on social media and I have also been bullied. Even as an adult you still get shaken by cyberbullying and harassment. Let’s collectively protect each other from cyberbullying and violence.
“I urge young girls and young women to expose and report such experiences.”
Plan International Malawi communication and campaign manager Rodgers Siula said a recent survey by the organisation revealed that 58 percent of women and girls are bullied online.
“The research found that girls who use social media are routinely subjected to explicit messages, pornographic photos, cyber-stalking and other forms of abuse,” he said. Siula bemoaned that social media has ineffective reporting tools to stop the abuse from happening.