Digital Technology, Social Media and Cyber-Enabled Gender-Based Violence and the Law in Nigeria

Digital Technology, Social Media and Cyber-Enabled Gender-Based Violence and the Law in Nigeria

Author by Dr. Cheluchi Onyemelukwe

Journal/Publisher: (in Isaac O Agbede And Ayoyemi Arowolo (eds), Babcock University Essays On Contemporary Legal Issues,(ilisan-remo: Babcock University School Of Law And Security Studies)

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 65 - 88


In the past decade and a half, there has been an exponential increase in the use of mobile phones and other technologies in Nigeria. Internet access is now almost commonplace, even in rural areas. A majority of Nigerians own and use mobile phones, many of them smart mobile phones on which various smart technologies are available. This has given rise to cyber-enabled gender-based violence and also the opportunity to advocate against such violence. A key question that arises then is: how does law address social media and technology with specific regard to gender-based violence. The Federal Government has enacted legislation recently on violence against persons including women: The Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015. Various States have also developed legislation on gender-based violence. Do these address social media? Do they address technology use? The Government has also enacted the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015. How adequate are their provisions in accounting for the intersections between gender-based violence, technology and social media? This paper identifies the intersections of gender-based violence, and digital technology and social media. It then examines the extant law to determine how it addresses the arising issues. The paper argues for a better understanding of the peculiarities of gender-based violence in the age of social media. This will promote further protections and pro-active approaches with regard to the prevention and management of gender-based violence in Nigeria.

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