By Cynthia Nkhata
Zambia National women’s Lobby identified a total of 291 incidents of cyber bullying against various female politicians during the August pre and post general elections period.
“291 incidents of cyber bullying against various female politicians have been identified, preliminary data gathered by the project indicates that majority of the cyber bullying cases against female politicians were captured in the election month of August with a total of 219 cases having been identified,” says Ms. Nyambe
Women’s Lobby Board Member Sylvia Nyambe said the organization has in the past two months been implementing a project titled “social media monitoring of cyber bullying, hate speech and sexual harassment against women in politics” The project aims to contribute to efforts aimed creating a safe environment for women’s participation in politics. This has been done through targeted, data-driven advocacy against cyber bullying, hate speech and online sexual harassment against women in politics.
Ms. Nyambe said a dedicated team of staff has also been assigned to follow selected social media accounts of women in politics and other persons as part of the process of identifying cases of cyber bullying.
She said in terms of perpetrators project data gathered revealed that the majority of the perpetrators of cyber bullying against female politicians were male saying that most of the captured incidents were published via Facebook.
She has also disclosed that women’s Lobby is facilitating psychosocial support for women in politics who have been victims of cyber bullying as well as any legal redress that may require.
” We are facilitating psychosocial support for women in politics who have been victims of cyber bullying as well as any legal redress that they may require, it is our hope that this project will raise more awareness among members of the general public, policy makers, media and other stakeholders about the dangers of cyber bullying,sexual harassment,and hate speech against women generally and in women in politics in particular,” She said.