Sexual violence in conflict and everyday sexism top G8 women agenda

Sexual violence in conflict and everyday sexism top G8 women agenda

Following our previous posts on digital around the G8, today we look at the Twitter discussion around women and the G8. An analysis of tweets including the terms “women” and “G8” over the last ten weeks shows that the UK government’s campaign against sexual violence in conflict zones had a significant impact on online discussion:

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The sexual violence agenda is split across several hashtags, with a focus on events in Syria – the top mention – and the DRC. The issue was propelled in to the headlines by Angelina Jolie’s appearance alongside William Hague at the meeting of G8 Foreign Ministers in London in April, where they announced a further £10 million to combat sexual violence and harm to women in war zones.

This announcement helped William Hague take the top spot as the most influential tweeter on women and G8 over the period, with UN Women and advocacy groups also featuring strongly.









While Jolie’s celebrity helped the issue gain more publicity than most meetings of Foreign Minister, the decision of gossip magazines and The Daily Mail to focus on her “abundance of grey hairs” rather than the substanceof the announcement created much ire online. It was Sadie Fitch, a ‘normal member of the public’ with only 61 followers, who summed up the moment and offered one of the most retweeted comments over the ten week period:

The popularity of Sadie’s post was boosted by her use of #everydaysexism – a movement which is a perfect fit with social media, allowing users to “document everyday experiences of sexism to prove how bad the problem is and create solidarity”. Its effectiveness is highlighted by its second place in the most mentioned hashtags and high ranking in the list of influencers around the G8 and women discussion.

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