Social media and women’s rights are very much interconnected. While many complain about people’s addiction to social media, others highlight the powerful campaigns that wouldn’t exist without social platforms.
Who will ever reject the fact that social media has tangibly changed the way people interact and carry on with their everyday lives? To be clear, the internet has become a necessity in every home and office.
Most people spend their time on social media sites. Some people just waste their time there. Anyway, we are here not to talk about how people waste their time but social media and women’s rights.
Asking why such a one-track concentration? Because social media has a lot to do with women’s issues. Social campaigns held to protect women are also quite important. So let’s surf through networking reality.
Social media and women’s rights
Is Social Media Necessity or Addiction?
A general description of social media goes like “social media has made everything available for everybody”. I mean anything uploaded to that huge web is at your disposal either for free or you just have to pay some money for it.
In other words, social media has become an inseparable part of our lives. It has affected the way we spend our leisure. And one proof that social media is playing a great role in our lives is news delivery. You can learn about the independence referendum held in one part of the world, for example, sitting at your house in Australia.
In a nutshell, this digital age has resulted in a drop in the number of newspapers sold. Now people prefer reading news on world issues online. These news pages are faster, more interesting and reader-friendly.
Besides, social media profiles as well have become a good source of news. Every minute people share millions of posts. Social media is also a good platform for marketing. Actually, marketers have already noticed the potential of social sites. It is fast and easy when it comes to getting potential clients.
Many giant companies have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. They use them as a way of interacting with clients, solving their problems and handling customer retention. Besides, social media is a huge source of inspiration.
Just following your favorite celeb and reading the inspiring posts can make your day. To put it simply, social media has changed the way we think, make friends and share ideas.
But here is one more thing. Sometimes people stick to their social media accounts so much that real interaction becomes simply impossible. It makes life boring. Anyway, we need social media to keep in touch, read news and stuff. But in some cases, this necessity may grow to addiction.
Social Media and Women’s Rights As a Platform Filled With Sexist Comments and Approaches
In terms of raising awareness and spreading campaigns on a variety of issues, social media has no equals. It is proven to be a powerful thing. This networking tool allows individuals to share content, opinions, and thoughts to a global audience in a few minutes.
But like other things, social media as well has two sides. It can either be a very progressive force to change something or it can be used to spread regressive values and to bully. The topic becomes more vulnerable when women appear on the horizon.
Social media and women’s rights are interconnected to some extent. Social media can engage women in economic and political life, and allow them to increase their self-expression thus promoting social change. But it can damage the true image of women as well. Here is how.
Have you ever thought that ads, for instance, and videos or images that go viral through social media can be harmful to women? That can definitely impact their self-esteem. Well, I talk about those that contain some women issues and expose inequality. For example, ads that depict women in the kitchen only.
On social networks, this sort of culture or acceptance goes public through likes or shares. This kind of an affirmation keeps such behavior and culture going. Sexists comments about women are among top issues through social networks. They call women names or discuss their physical appearance.
What’s really unreasonable about this is that the issue can get hundreds of likes or shares. Besides, studies targeting online harassment have stated that hate speeches are mostly directed at women. In general, they are meant to bully women. The nature of the comments when trolls attack is also kind of harassing. They are deeply sexist and targeted especially at a female gender.
Networking as a Source of Women’s Empowerment
Even in the 21st-century, women face hard times across the world. They are often deprived of the chance to express themselves in public debates. Their thoughts and ideas can be wrongly perceived.
Politics is something forbidden for women. Anyway one of the most powerful tools of this digital age can still work in favor of women. As I have already mentioned social media plays a very important role in our daily life. It helps with shaping opinions.
So, it can be not only harmful but helpful as well in terms of women’s rights. Sounds sarcastic but still to the point. UN Women has been promoting the use social media, as a powerful tool to advocate for the elimination of violence against women and promote gender equality.
Feminists and other women’s rights activists have been quick to realize this importance. Due to their efforts in recent years, social media has more specifically used its potential for drawing attention to women’s issues and empowerment.
This is how a phenomenon called hashtag activism and other online campaigns have appeared. So what’s their main aim?
Hashtags, Campaigns about Social Media and Women’s Rights
In a long run, the main goal of hashtag activism and online campaigns is to increase awareness of any issue. This can lead to inspiring action concerning those issues. Twitter has shared a statistics.
It states that conversations about feminism on the social networking service have increased over the past three years with prominent women, such as Angelina Jolie. What they do is to voice women’s rights violations and delivering it to a wider audience.
Emma Watson’s #HeForShe speech, for instance, led to nearly twice as many tweets containing the word feminism. She highlighted the need to engage men and boys to achieve gender equality as well. So, to sound more clear here are some feminists campaigns that point at the link between social media and women’s rights.
Social Media and Women’s Rights Campaigns #1: Western Union’s #TheRaceIsON
This campaigned was launched in the form of an advertisement. The advert celebrates education as a way to empower women.
In this video, there are girls from different parts of the world and an inspiring sentence: “the race is on”. The girls begin to race. They do it to become “the first female to run United Nations” or land on the Moon.
Social Media and Women’s Rights Campaigns #2: Women’s March #DayWithoutAWomen
Women’s March #DayWithoutAWoman was another popular campaign on social media. It is aimed to support women’s rights by showing how much women accomplish every day and how successful they can be regardless stereotypes about them.
The organizers encouraged netizens to turn their profile pictures red.
Social Media and Women’s Rights Campaigns #3: P&G’s #WeSeeEqual
#WeSeeEqual campaign was launched by Procter and Gamble. It is one of the biggest on social media The campaign features videos from P&G’s commercials of Always, Secret which challenge gender stereotypes.
It’s no mystery that in recent years other brands have also joined them to fight against inequality.
Social Media and Women’s Rights Campaigns #4: United Colors of Benetton’s #UnitedByHalf
India is among the states where women still face discrimination in every aspect. They are nearly deprived of the chance to get educated. Leave alone workplace bias.
To voice the problem Creativeland Asia started a campaign called #UnitedByHalf designed specifically for India. It fights women’s rights and social position in India by demanding equal pay.
In this ad, a young girl beats a boy in arm wrestling match. Besides, there is also a woman quitting her job because of unequal pay.
Social Media and Women’s Rights Campaigns #5: One’s #GirlCount
In many countries, women still face hardships to get an education. They are less likely to get to school than boys. Stemming from being uneducated poverty follows. To fight for making education accessible for more women living in such states One launched #GirlsCount campaign.
This is quite an interesting one. The idea is to record short videos while counting a number between 1 and 130 million out loud. The organizers plan to create the largest video ever that voices such issues. Anyone who wants to be part of the world largest video is free to post such a picture or video on their social media account.
Social Media and Women’s Rights Campaigns #6: UN Women Takes Upon Gender Inequality In Google Searches
The connection of social media and women’s rights is a tough topic. As we see it includes both harassment and empowerment at a time. Though it is difficult to be indifferent to harassment through the social network.
UN Women was also quite alarmed by it. It firmly decided to take measure. The idea was to use Google searches to reveal how widespread and prevailing the sexism and women discrimination is.
The campaign was called “The Autocomplete Truth”. It represented four women photographed with Google autocomplete phrases placed on their mouths.
That was very symbolic like showing that women’s voices are silenced. The campaign under the hashtag #womenshould was spread through social media. It was a huge success. Besides the campaign made headlines in most popular magazines and websites.
Will This Campaigns Make a Change in the World?
If someone firmly answers yes or no do not believe them, folks. Nobody knows it for sure. It is true that social media is changing the rules of the game for global women’s empowerment. The social campaigns are getting stronger and expand very quickly.
In other words, they are on the roll but have a long way to go. In the long run, women manage to speak up their problems and make changes. However, past experiences show that many freedoms and rights won still need to be improved.
I think this campaigns can be considered fully successful when women stop going to the bitter end to fighting for their fundamental rights such as education, equal pay, and freedom of speech. Thus, time will show.
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