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Fellow spearheading campaign against trolls and cyberbullies

cyberbullying

2014 Tutu Fellow, lawyer, and activist, Linda Kasonde, is spearheading a social media campaign against sexual bullying, particularly against women in politics. The campaign hashtag is #StandUpToBullying.

The cyber bullying campaign initially arose from an incident where the Zambian Minister of Information was attacked online by political party cadres within her party, because of a public pronouncement that she had made. Civil society quickly issued a statement condemning the remarks and started a social media campaign under the hashtag #IStandWithHer, condemning the harassment, particularly the sexual harassment of women politicians.

The campaign was premised on the fact that woman politicians across the political divide receive more abuse in the mainstream media and social media, often of a very personal nature.  Trolling and threats are commonplace on the internet, but in politics and in gender affairs the vitriol is often particularly vile.

The campaign sparked a call by the Zambia Women’s Parliamentary Caucus to tackle cyberbullying against women in politics. Together with support from the women’s lobby and the Zambia Accountability Programme (under the British Council) - a televised event - a panel discussion was held on 23rd September 2018 to raise awareness about the anti-cyber bullying campaign. Linda was a member of that televised panel discussion.

The funders of the event are looking into commissioning research on the issue, which hopefully will lead to legislation that tackles the scourge without infringing on constitutional rights. Linda has also been part of the social media campaign against cyberbullying against women.

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Sunday, 21 October 2018

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