The World Health Organization reports that over 35% of women, many of them children, globally have experienced physical or sexual violence. In some regions, the statistics are almost unbelievable: 71% of women in Ethiopia have experienced violence from an intimate partner and 30% of women in rural Bangladesh are forced into their first sexual experience.
UNICEF – the United Nations Children’s Fund – is one of many humanitarian organizations battling anti-female violence. A few years ago, the agency launched U-Report a civil reporting platform that allows young people in developing countries to call out social issues, support child and female rights, and become agents of change for their communities. Anyone can become a U-Reporter by messaging their Facebook Messenger bot or tweeting at @UReportGlobal on Twitter.
So far, over 2.6 million U-Reporters have joined the platform. UNICEF’s Executive Directory, Anthony Lake, comments on the tremendous growth of their bot: “U-Report started out as a local innovation to help young Ugandans engage on issues that affect their lives and futures. Today, young U-reporters from 15 countries, mostly in Africa, are using it every day to voice their opinions, connect to their leaders, and help change the conditions in their communities.”
Are you a U-Reporter helping solve issues in your community? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.