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Ugandan among Facebook’s New Women’s Safety Advisory Board

ADDIS ABABA – Facebook has launched a Women’s Safety Hub today and said will work with an external panel of expert advisers, including Uganda’s Neema Iyer, to address issues of women being targeted online.

Iyer, founder of a civic technology advocacy Pollicy, is among the 12 expert women in the safety advisory board.

Other members of the panel include Ireland’s Caitriona Gleeson, who is CEO of Women for Election; Mexico’s Margarita Guillé Tamayo, who is executive coordinator of the Interamerican Network of Women Shelters.

It also features Ji-Yeon Lee, who is a cyber-sexual violence and an associate professor of counselling psychology at South Korea’s Hankuk University.

The experts will “consult whenever Facebook develops new policies, products and programs related to women’s safety”, it said.

On the same day, Facebook also said it has joined other big tech companies in signing on to the Web Foundation’s commitment to women’s safety.

Its latest commitments are part of a series of announcements made at the UN’s Generation Equality Forum in France.

Facebook’s Safety Policy Manager for Africa, Sylvia Musalangani, said women’s safety “is an important issue around the globe and We are committed to keeping women safe from abuse, exploitation and harassment online and offline”.

However, some campaigners have expressed concerns that social media companies’ commitments do not go far enough.

“These abstract statements offer tech companies a good PR opportunity, but these aren’t real commitments,” said Lucina Di Meco, co-founder of #ShePersisted Global, which tackles online attacks against women.