Women in Politics Face Misogyny and Abuse – O’Neill

Women in politics are constantly “swimming upstream” against an undercurrent of misogyny and abuse, the deputy first minister has said.

Some of the commentary around women in political leadership was “reprehensible”, Michelle O’Neill told a conference.

Women faced comments about their appearance, threats of sexual violence and death threats, she added.

Ms O’Neill was speaking with Arlene Foster at a female leadership event.

The virtual conference was organized by Queen’s University.

Mrs Foster, the outgoing first minister, said social media giants needed to recognize their responsibilities to women in public life who are targeted and face online harassment.

Social media companies cannot “wash their hands of the problem”, she said.

“What is not acceptable is for people around the table to mark out an opponent and then enlist the services of an anonymous online lynch mob to systematically target and harass women about their relationship status, their children, their partner, their appearance and the list goes on,” she said.

“The anonymity of social media gives people a sense of invincibility. I want to tackle that.

“There must be a verification process where the platforms at least know who really owns the account,” she added.

“I want the social media companies to recognize their responsibilities to women in public life.

“Whether it’s Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, they can’t just step back as the publisher and wash their hands of the problem.”

Source: BBC News

Read the full article here.

Thank You To Our Sponsors!