Citizens for Justice and Peace

Women politicians disproportionately targeted by online harassment: Study

14, Mar 2018 | CJP Team

A study found that women politicians face more criticism online compared to male politicians regarding their appearance and marital status, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reported. Atalanta, a British group that is working to increase the number of women in senior government roles, conducted an international study in which it analysed tweets sent to three major pairs of male and female legislators in Britain, Chile, and South African between September and November 2017. The study found that women were three times more likely than men to be targeted with sexist remarks. It revealed that almost 75% of tweets regarding appearance or marital status were sent to women. Most of these were negative and did not relate to the women’s political performance. According to activists, social media abuse faced by women politicians is so typical that it discourages women from running for office around the world. A 2016 study conducted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), an international body of parliaments, found that 45% of women parliamentarians had been targeted with threats of rape, physical assault, death, and kidnapping while in office. 



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