Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru on Tuesday launched a campaign against cyberbullying, that is expected to run for the next four weeks.

The campaign against cyberbullies dubbed ‘Stop Cyberbullies’ will run for four weeks and is being led by Echo Network Africa (ENA), an organization propels women empowerment.

The campaign seeks create awareness and mobilize public support against cyberbullying and push for more action from policy makers to make the crime costlier for the offenders.

The Council of Governors Chairperson made the announcement as she received the ENA Women’s Leadership Award recognizing her efforts to champion for women leadership.

She said the campaign was a precursor to this year’s International Women’s Day themed “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality” focusing on how technology is helping women overcome various hurdles.

“As we launch this campaign today, we would like to speak with one voice and call out cyberbullying for the crime that it is and remind us that we all have a role to play in eliminating it,” Waiguru said.

She stated, “From a true human perspective, the words Cyberbullying do not come close to capturing the severity and lasting impacts for the victims and survivors or convey the links between online and offline experiences of violence.”

The second term governor admitted she has been a victim of cyberbullying many times, especially during her political campaigns, noting that women suffer more compared to men.

She cited an African Development Bank study that showed up to 70 per cent of women have faced cyber violence and that they are 27 times more likely than men to be harassed online.

Waiguru noted that cyberbullying hinders women participation in public dialogues since many will cower, self-censor or totally withdraw from public, civic and social media spaces.

She noted stalking, bullying, sexual harassment, defamation, hate speech and exploitation as some of the key online violence meter against women as the use of technology surges.

The COG Chair noted that the fast spread of technology in the country has outpaced efforts by the government and other stakeholders to establish policies that decrease cyberbullying.

She challenged women not to be daunted from using tech to push for gender equality and create safe and inclusive digital spaces that foster full participation by women and girls.

“Let us courageously continue to use technology to amplify women's voices, connect women to new opportunities and resources, and break down barriers that prevent women from reaching their full potential,” stated Waiguru.

ENA CEO Dr Jeniffer Riria vowed to continue pushing for women and girls to access education, eradication of harmful socio-cultural norms as well as opportunities to leadership and financing.