News for Friday 24 August is taken from Women’s Views on News
A Kenyan woman, Anne Shongwe, has pioneered a mobile phone application to help address violence against women.
The app, called ‘Moraba‘, is a free game aimed at children and teenagers.
The idea is to teach them about issues related to gender-based violence including what constitutes unwanted advances and how to report and give testimony for violent and inappropriate acts.
‘Moraba’ is based on a popular South African board game called Morabaraba and incorporates quiz show style questions to enable children to become informed in a fun and practical way.
Shongwe, an international development specialist and social enterpreneur, created the app following 25 years experience of working at the United Nations Development Programme.
Keen to apply her knowledge to find solutions to social problems, Shongwe started asking young Africans about their perceptions of the opposite sex.
It was then that she realised education was key to preventing negative gender stereotypes that can manifest as violence in later years.
After conducting interviews with the young people, Shongwe told Al Jazeera in a recent interview that:
“We didn’t realise that actually at the core [of much gender violence] is really just misunderstanding and misinformation”.
This realisation informs every design aspect of the app, which has already won the App Circus 2011 competition and funding and support from UN Women.
Shongwe is now looking for sponsorship to expand the game to predominant handsets in the market as well as developing distribution.
This is just the start of an ambitious goal to reach 100 million young Africans at risk of gender-based violence and to change choices and conversations around the treatment of women and girls.
With 200 million young Africans accessing mobile phones and using them for one to eight hours a day, Shongwe has a captive audience on which ‘Moraba’ could have a significant impact.
- African Postman: Youth, Technology and Literacy (petchary.wordpress.com)
- Angola: Angolan women say ‘no’ to discrimination and ‘yes’ to gender equality (ionglobaltrends.com)
- A new strategy against gender-based violence (devex.com)