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These women politicians know how to #NameItChangeIt in the face of online haters

English

Tuesday’s election of an unprecedented number of women, gender non-conforming and minority candidates was a powerful renunciation of the ugly rhetoric of Donald Trump’s campaign and misbegotten critiques of “identity politics.” Exactly one year after Donald Trump’s election, voters demonstrated support for a powerful coalition that represents the Democratic party’s greatest strength and potential.

These victories were the result of hard work and perseverance, but they were also the result of bravery. Many of the people who won this week, transgender candidates, ethnic minority candidates and women who no prior electoral experience, belong to marginalized groups that are routinely targeted, online and off, with hostility and hatred. In 2016, an Inter-Parliamentary Union study of women in legislatures around the world found that:

  • 41.8 percent report wide distribution of “extremely humiliating or sexually charged images;
  • 44.4 percent receive death, rape, beating and abduction threats; and
  • 32.7 percent harassed through exposure to persistent unwanted and intimidating messages.

Almost two-thirds of the women, 61.5 percent, believe that the primary objective of the harassment they face is to intimidate women and dissuade them from pursuing political leadership position.

Women’s harassment, whether they are in politics or not, tends to be more sustained and sexualized, often including the pornification of women as a political weapon. It also often includes explicit threats against their families and children. Studies show that online harassment is more emotionally resonant for women who, offline, have to be more vigilant about their safety.

Click here to read the full article published by The Huffington Post on 9 November 2017.

Silencing Women in Politics:  The Costs to Democracy of Gender-Based Online Harassment

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