Official Launch and Flag Off Ceremony of Cyber Wo-Fare Project

Women in ICT Foundation in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and SoluSOFT Limited recently launched “Cyberwofare” Project tagged A National Empowerment Programs for Women and Young Girls on Cyber Security with the theme, Think Before You Click #BeCyberSmart.

The international event open to the general public was successfully hosted last week, Thursday, at the H.E. Dr (Mrs) Maryam Babangida Auditorium, National Centre for Women Development in Abuja, Nigeria.

The launching of the project was honored by women from across the world, young girls from different high schools as well as the opposite sex.

It brought together the African Youth Union Commission, NAPTIP, Ambassadors, notable government officials and representatives, NGOs, socio-entrepreneurs and fintechs among others on stage creating awareness on cyber security and how women and girls should best protect themselves as the world of human trafficking continues to evolve with the internet.

According to Mrs Benedicta representing the DG of NAPTIP:

“Research shows that cyber technologies give human traffickers the endless ability to exploit a greater number of victims and advertise the services

Young girls continue to suffer the worst form of exploitation and abuse. The pornography industry is fast growing and yielding immerse profit for the trade of human trafficking. According to a recent research there are approximately 97 billion pornography industry creating demand for human sex trafficking.

Mrs Benedicta Nkiru, NAPTIP

Eight percent of women and girls in Nigeria are not adequately trained and equipped to defend themselves against cybercrimes, the country’s Deputy Inspector-General of Police, David Folawiyo, has said.

Folawiyo made the stunning revelation as a keynote speaker at the launching of a national cyber security empowerment programme for women in Nigeria tagged “Cyber Wo-Fare Project” organised by Women in ICT Foundation in Abuja on Thursday.

But the top police officer expressed delight at the launching of the project for the women in Nigeria, describing it as an important part of the race that technology and innovation has provided for women and girls for efficiency, effectiveness and for pro-activeness in identifying issues related to cybercrimes.

He said: “We see this launching as an effort and determination to fight cyber crimes against women and girls in our society and an effort to contribute to the way of life of our women and girls.

“There is today total reliance on digital technology for every human endeavor, sophistication in modern technology and human activities are new agencies that have altered public expectations of safety from harm and the simultaneous strategies.Folawiyo said that cybercrime remains one of the contemporary social menaces afflicting the society today and resulting in multiplicity of factors such as poverty, idleness, vendetta, greed, unemployment among others.

 

Identifying the skills gap in Cyber Security

“There is in Nigeria a very wide gap in cyber security manpower with an alarming low skill competency. Some reviews have shown that 80 per cent of woman and girls in Nigeria are inadequately and improperly prepared to defend themselves against cyber crime. 

Folawiyo assured women and girls of their safety and emphasized that there will be no threat to their lives and livelihood from cybercrime under the watch of the police.

“It is in accordance with the mandate that we will work with you to safeguard the present and the future of women and girls in Nigeria. I strongly recommend that women and girls take advantage of this programme to help reduce the effects of cybercrimes in the digital space as we cannot police a digitalize Nigeria with analogue ideas,”the police officer said.

The Director-General of  the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, (NAPTIP),Fatima Waziri–Azi, who was  represented by the Director Administration NAPTIP, Benedicta Ojugbami,  said that the agency  is being inundated with cases of trafficked young girls with transactions initiated and concluded on the social media.

 

Waziri-Azi said: “While the traditional means of human trafficking remains in place, research shows that cyber technologies give human traffickers the unprecedented ability to exploit a greater number of victims and advertise their services across boundaries.

“I believe we can all agree that the shift towards technology is a growing destructive global trend which comes promise, innovation and growth as well as challenges notably, cyber crime. NAPTIP is constantly inundated with cases with cases of trafficked young girls with transactions initiated and concluded on social media. The internet is fast emerging as the next fishing home for human traffickers, which is why conversations like this must be sustained in order to scale up sensitization among women and girls.

“I will like to assure everyone of us that NAPTIP will not relent in implementing its mandate and we invite all relevant stakeholders including CSOs and development partners to further strengthen the collaboration and partner with us to scale up activism and  raise awareness against cyber threats spotting and identifying indicators of cyber traffickers to justice.

 

The President Women in ICT Foundation, Chinwe Anyachebelu, explained that the programme was aimed training no fewer than 100,000 women and girls across Nigeria through rallies, workshops, seminars and curriculum development to empower women against cyber attacks. “The project is expected to empower women and girls on cyber issues and to help in mitigating cyber gender-based violence and other related issues in the society,” Anyachebelu stated. 

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