From Gender and Tech Resources
The f3mhack training for mostly women journalists, bloggers and activists that took place in Nairobi was timely because it occurred when many people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to be safe online.
By targeting this unique set of participants who have the skills and forums to share the information with the public through articles in the newspapers, broadcast media, blogs and gender activists to learn privacy and security tools, was critical towards furthering the agenda of empowering them with the tools on how they can share more widely on what they learned.
The participants also form a critical group that is often susceptible to cyber attacks due to the nature of their work and there was need for discussion on practical tips that an individual or group could take towards finding tips on how to advocate for private online spaces to be protected. The training was set up to help the participant understand threats from a personal point of view so that one can develop practical steps on privacy advocacy and security that can impact a larger group from a point of understanding.
For the training of university students in Njoro, the training was important to reach out to this group as they are often referred to as the techno savvy generation. They are well versed with the latest sites where they can access free software that would most likely expose them to more dangers. As was evident in the discussions held, the large number of students at the university means that when a cyber crime occurs, the level of sharing that information is very high and the level of stigma also high because the students can easily identify and meet the person who has been offended online due to their close proximity at campus and their daily interactions.
This group was also a critical one to target for the training because it would be considered as an early intervention for the students to start applying the knowledge learned that would be useful to them on campus and when they join the job market. Some of the students were in their last semester so it would be great to follow up with them after a year to see the impact the training had on their work lives.
The other main critical reason why targeting the university was critical is because through organizing the training through the gender department, their was the hope that we would be strengthening the existing structures of privacy safety online but more so to introduce them to the need to set up modules on privacy advocacy and security that would be streamlined in the curriculum or if not existing forums to discuss on various issues.
My motivation to be a digital security and privacy advocacy trainer started two years ago when as a member of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT),both locally and internationally , went through a Trainers of Trainers training that was facilitated by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) on how to stay safe online for women. Upon conclusion of the training I conducted trainings for media, civil society, government officials using the tools especially security in a box,among others. Thereafter,, I was a panelist during a roundtable discussion in Morocco during an IAWRT biennial conference, where I had the opportunity to share on digital security citing case studies in Kenya.
Mid last year I was selected by the IAWRT-Kenya chapter to be the lead facilitator for round tables on how various counties in Kenya could spearhead initiatives on how digital security for women could be enhanced using mechanisms that were available to them. The stakeholders at the roundtable forums were drawn from the police-gender desk, county government officials mostly from the departments that deal with women, universities-especially those with gender departments, women civil society organizations and media. Each county I went to came up with its own unique action plan on how it could tackle security for women online.
When I attended the Gender Technical Institute last year in Germany, I went with one mission - to identify new areas of privacy advocacy and digital security that I could adapt as I continue my work in training and facilitating roundtable discussions in the future, as I seek to reach out to different target groups of participants.
Here the idea of flash trainings and being innovative with how we advocate for security skills was sharpened. I also learned new digital security tools that I could share that are in line with the changing times. These were the tools that I weaved into my trainings during the f3mhack conducted in Kenya
I have met so many women who have gone through cyber bullying and seen the impacts that it has had on their lives. For me training on privacy advocacy and digital security is more than just training it is about sharing critical information that will change the lives of women in online spaces.
The Nairobi f3mhack training was the first I ever had to try out a flash training rather than my usual 2-3 days training. Packaging critical training points, while still providing room for group discussions and feedback within an hour was not an easy task but it was fun. Now I know how to repackage trainings that can suite my clientele needs. This is especially crucial when introducing a new training to a group and when they provide me with a limited time in a day, to give them a glimpse of what digital and privacy advocacy training would be like while still leaving them with critical information they can apply privately or in a group.
Through the f3mhack flash training in Nairobi I have been given the opportunity to provide a longer workshop for a journalists association for women at their offices. I am also looking into how I can work with some of the bloggers who turned up who expressed interest on how we can engage further and also attend other likeminded forums within the country and outside.At the university, I plan to go back and tap into their existing discussion forums so as to engage them further on online topics. This is a model I plan to replicate in other universities where I have worked with or interacted with in the past.
For the training groups and roundtables that I had interacted with in the past, I hope to find resources that would enable me to go round and share the new knowledge I have received. At the same time I also hope to follow up on the impact the training has had especially on the initiatives they had developed in the forums (roundtables) that they were keen to keep following through on and see if I can provide any technical expertise that would further their cause.
As for the trainings I will keep conducting (my main work is being a training) , I shall seek to adapt online sessions where applicable.