The government of Nigeria announced Friday that it will be banning Twitter in the country. Ironically, the announcement was made in a tweet.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed also announced the suspension in a statement. He reportedly said “the persistent use of the platform” is “capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
As of the time of this report, even the Media Special Assistant to the President Segun Adeyemi still has a Twitter account with over 1500 followers. Even the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture has its account still with over 260,000 followers. It is unclear when the ban will go into effect.
Now, Twitter users worldwide are encouraging Nigerians to download virtual private networks, or VPNs, so that they can still use the platform after it’s banned. Lagos-based NGO Gavel condemned the ban.
Soon, VPN was trending worldwide. It topped the trending list in Nigerian Twitter.
Local entrepreneur Olorunshola Emmanuel tweeted a step-by-step tutorial for fellow Nigerians who are unfamiliar with VPNs. It quickly became his most viral tweet.
You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter, unless you’re in Nigeria and not using a VPN, @jennyjournalism.
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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