Meta, formerly known as the Facebook Company, has partnered with BRAC to empower Bangladeshi women and youth on digital platforms.
A skills development programme has been launched in its first phase to train 1,000 frontline staff of BRAC who will then upskill 300,000 BRAC programme beneficiaries.
The initiative will also equip 60 Youth Ambassadors from BRAC’s Amra Notun Network to engage 1,200 young people to become more aware digital citizens, reports UNB citing a media release on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people around the world to depend on the internet more than ever. There has been a steep rise in internet use among women and young people in Bangladesh.
The country is also experiencing a parallel increase in cybercrime and online bullying.
Meta will work with BRAC to upskill women and youth with the information, tools and resources they need to have a positive experience online.
This includes a social media campaign to increase awareness among Bangladeshis about the digital landscape.
Sabhanaz Rashid Diya, who leads Public Policy for Bangladesh at Meta, said they know that the digital landscape is changing and transforming rapidly.
“In order for women and youth to have positive experiences online, they require the tools and knowledge to be able to do so. BRAC’s expertise and outreach capacity will help us bolster our efforts to equip Bangladeshi women and young people with the digital skills they need. Through this partnership, we will deepen our work on addressing the needs of women and youth on our platforms.”
Recently, Meta partnered with 50 non-governmental organizations around the world including BRAC to support the launch of StopNCII.org, a platform supporting efforts to stop non-consensual sharing of intimate images on the internet, which is one of the most notorious means of cyberbullying and harassment.
Asif Saleh, Executive Director of BRAC Bangladesh said, “Meta is a very important partner for us as the country tackles a growing number of cyber threats which is challenging social cohesion.”
He said they believe the training will give their communities the much needed tool to become more resilient and prepared in a world where the impact of digital life is increasingly crossing over to the real lives of the citizens across the society.
In 2021, Meta announced the launch of the Women's Safety Hub to centralize all the safety resources that women need when navigating its platforms.
It has been developed in consultation with safety partners around the world, including Bangladesh. It includes information for women leaders, journalists and survivors of abuse.