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Africa’s Talking leans on tech in fighting FGM on the continent

By , Africa editor
Africa , 29 Mar 2023

Pan-African tech company Africa’s Talking will today host an online Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) hackathon to build solutions addressing challenges faced by women affected by the practice.

The company says FGM is a violent practice against African girls and is widely prevalent in many countries on the continent.

“In honor of the International Day for Zero Tolerance on FGM, we aim to make a difference in our community. Our previous hackathon gave us a deeper understanding of how FGM affects women and the challenges they face. Let's build a brighter future for women and girls together,” says the company.

The focus of Africa’s Talking is to help developers in Africa make their ideas come to life. The company achieves this by giving developers access to communication infrastructure through easy-to-use APIs.

Detailing the reasons for its latest hackathon, in a blogpost, Africa’s Talking says, FGM is a manifestation of gender-based violence and reinforces the unequal power relations between men and women.

“It is a practice that perpetuates harmful social norms and perpetuates the discrimination and oppression of women and girls,” says Africa’s Talking.

As result, it says, more efforts are needed to eradicate FGM and protect the rights of girls and women.

The company says: “Efforts are underway to eradicate FGM and protect the rights of girls and women. These efforts include legal prohibitions, education, awareness campaigns, and community-led interventions.

“However, much more needs to be done to eliminate this harmful practice and ensure the health and well-being of the girl-child in Africa.”

To this ends, Africa’s Talking believes tapping into technologies can play a meaningful role in eradicating FGM by improving access to information and education.

As an example, it says, 2G technology, or second-generation wireless technology can help in awareness campaigns, reporting and tracking, dispensing health information as well as in support and counselling services.

Africa’s Talking hackathon comes as more countries on the continent are leaning towards technology in addressing issues affecting women such as gender-based-violence.

According to the United Nations, there is an urgent need to harness the power of technology as a force for good, and use it for the prevention of gender-based violence.

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