Open Data Day 2021: iWatch Africa to focus on safety of women journalists & equal development online

iWatch Africa 2021 Open Data Day

Although the social media boom in Africa has presented many opportunities to the millions of users including access to information, extended social networks, identity expression etc., increasingly these platforms have become a new frontline in journalism safety – a particularly dangerous place for women journalists.

iWatch Africa in our 2020 digital rights report  found that while the number of male journalists monitored were three times more than their female counterparts, 46 per cent of the total number of online abuses received were directed at women journalists in Ghana. The report also noted that whereas the ratio per male to digital abuse was 1: 28, the ratio of a female journalist to digital abuse was 1:61. This meant that one female journalist was susceptible to 61 abuses online during the period.

Our 2021 Open Data Day event is dedicated to mitigating the risks that online harassment of women journalists poses to the free flow of information, press freedom and equal development within the digital ecosystem in Africa.

The theme for the virtual event is, ‘Leveraging data on abuse of female journalists in Ghana to promote equal development within the digital ecosystem in Africa.’

The event features two guest speakers, Sheilah Birgen, Nashilongo Gervasius and a moderator, Gideon Sarpong who are all Open Internet for Democracy Leaders. 

iWatch Africa 2021 Open Data Day Event
iWatch Africa 2021 Open Data Day Event

You can join the event here:

Time: Mar 6, 2021 01:30 PM GMT

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 846 9013 5074
Passcode: 360327

This event is supported by Open Knowledge Foundation.

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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a policy analyst and media practitioner with close to a decade of experience in policy, data and investigative journalism. Gideon is a co-founder of iWatch Africa. He is an author; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation, Commonwealth Youth Program ,Free Press Unlimited and Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative. Gideon is the founder of Sustainable Ocean Alliance Ghana. He was a 2021 Policy Leader Fellow at the European University Institute, School of Trans-national Governance in Florence, Italy and 2020/21 Open Internet For Democracy Leader. Gideon was also a 2022 Visiting Scholar/Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK and was selected as a 2022 TRF/Trust Conference Changemaker. He is currently the Africa Regional Cordinator for Environmental Justice Foundation and a 2023 Pulitzer ORN Fellow. Email:

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