Tactical Tech has been following the work of  W.TEC (Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre) in Lagos, Nigeria since they participated in 2009’s Info-Activism camp. W.TEC has continued to use 10 Tactics in their day-to-day work and training workshops. W.TEC’s mission is two-fold, training women and girls how to use ICTs (information and communication technology) for economic empowerment and equality but also to improve social awareness and advocacy. Read about W.TEC’s recent workshop which feature 10 Tactics here.

W.TEC was founded in 2008 by Oreoluwa Somolu. She says, “I believe there are systemic reasons for the under-representation of women in IT [in Nigeria]…W.TEC demystify technology by teaching and talking about it, mentoring women in their exploration of technology, highlighting technology applications that are important. We actively advocate against practices that are discriminatory and abusive towards women.”

Oreoluwa was introduced to 10 Tactics through W.TEC’s involvement in the 2009 Info-Activism camp, attended by her colleague Oluwatoyin (Toyin) Ajao.

Toyin says the way women are perceived as technology users and leaders is changing quite rapidly in Nigeria and that is largely due to organisations like W.TEC supporting experimentation and innovationwith technology use.

As a result of the Info-Activism Camp, W.TEC extended their annual ‘Young Women's ICT Empowerment Programme' to include training on using mobile phones for self-defence and using video to capture abuses.

W.TEC campaign for improved internet access in Lagos and more comprehensive mobile phone use in rural areas to improve women’s personal security and empowerment. Toyin says:“Mobile phones are very important when you need to get out of an attack or rapesituation. Pay phones in Nigeria are very unreliable; they don't work, and in therural areas you'd be lucky to find one. When mobile phones first were introduced in Nigeria, they were expensive. Now they are really affordable and a lot of girls in Nigeria own mobile phones.We have situations where the police officer might actually be the one abusing you or trying to bribe you. If you are in a situation of disharmony, and you have got your mobile phone which has a camera in it, you can just capture that situation.”

However, Toyin is realistic about the security risks in video advocacy and raises awareness of dangerous situations and how to protect yourself. Toyin says Tactical Tech’s toolkits are important for supporting rights advocacy because there are many examples of citizens creating their own media to defend human rights, particularly by recording and broadcasting rights violations. Oreoluwa says of 10 Tactics, “I was very impressed as it provided an engaging and informational explanation of how to use information for advocacy…using cartoons to illustrate serious issues and the use of humour is not something that we have explored in our work. This is something we intend to do in the future. [The mapping section] has helped us think about how to use images to share our research findings, so that they are more accessible and useful to people than a typical research report.”

PHOTO: W.TEC training workshop