Springster is a mobile-first global brand that connects marginalised and vulnerable girls around the world. One of the countries in which it operates is Indonesia, where girls have relatively good access to mobile. However there is an increasingly conservative and constantly fluctuating socio-political environment. A widespread culture of shaming and tale-telling makes it difficult to provide online safe spaces for girls, and media censorship and a rise in fake news only serve to reinforce gender inequality and harmful social norms. Girls are often afraid to tell anybody if they’ve been abused online for fear of being shamed for going on a particular site or using their phone at all.
The challenge for Girl Effect is to operate within this space in a way that respects the cultural context girls live in but is also reflective of girls’ lives, interests, and needs. Preachy or dull content will not be of interest, but if we are insensitive to the wider culture we run the risk of government or gatekeepers preventing girls from accessing the services we provide. To mitigate this we work with partners locally who can help us understand the changing political, social and digital climate, and review our content and comment threads. This helps create useful content and remove stories that are no longer relevant or appropriate.