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How Social Media Introduces More Women to Activism

How Social Media Introduces More Women to Activism

Although successful women’s movements have persisted in the past, organizing and  communicating across large groups with ease has never truly been realized.  

Until now.  

The advent of social media has opened up a world full of possibilities for how women’s  movements can be successfully executed. Using social media, women are able to  organize for causes and share stories with ease — increasing awareness about issues  that impact other women. On top of that, social media allows for women to mobilize all  demographics in support of women’s issue movements. In particular, social media  helped to mobilize people for the “He For She” Movement, which is a solidarity  movement founded in 2014 committed to ending gender discrimination and inequality. By adding a quick hashtag and taking to social media, the movement has greatly  expanded in recent years — helping to gather advocates towards the goal of gender  equality. 

Throughout history, activism has continued to evolve in order to best relay the  messages of different causes to the public. However, with the emergence of technology and multiple social media platforms, activism has entered a new age. By pairing activism with social media, a more diverse audience has been reached and  engaged than any other previous generation. Before social media platforms were  popularized, technology brought the invention of virtual activism mediums

The overall era of virtual activism began gaining momentum in the 1990’s through  websites like and through the ability to amass supporters for protests and  demonstrations via email. Already, these additions to technology began to change  activism. As new developments were made to existing technologies, virtual activism  became even more popular going into the 2000s. With the emergence of new social  media platforms — like Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in 2010 — social media activism  became a way for even more audiences to connect with new social movements. 

So, how does social media enhance activism and create a larger  space for women in activism?  

1. Exposure & Awareness 

One way in which social media helps support activism is it allows for the coordination of numerous individual responses and aids in connecting people with the causes they  relate to. This can be seen largely through the cultivation of hashtags for specific activist movements. Through these cultivations, social media allows for a more diverse set of lived experiences to be shared that previously may not have been brought to people’s  attention. Exposure to new lived experiences can help shed light on situations around  inequality, such as gender inequality. Increased awareness around issues affecting women could potentially influence others to realize opportunities in their own lives to make a difference.  

2. Promotion 

Once people are moved to activist causes, social media allows for easy promotion of unified protesting efforts and other events. The widespread access of social media  allows for these efforts to be shared anywhere from a local to global level. Digital  platforms enable the sharing of photos and videos depicting collective action being  taken towards achieving an activist’s goals. This allows for people to see the  progression of movements they support. 

3. Including the Voice of Women 

Lastly, the “He For She” campaign is one of the primary examples of social media  activism in the last decade that promotes advancing the voices of women and  recognizes women’s rights as a human rights issue in mainstream media. The online campaign launched via social media in 2014 — founded by the United Nations and  famous individuals who endorsed ending gender inequality. Through the launch of this  campaign, the United Nations utilized social media influence held by celebrities to help  draw large scale support from fans across the globe. Famous actress Emma Watson — who has over 63 million Instagram followers — leads the “He For She” campaign online. 

Through collaboration with the United Nations, she has been able to help with efforts,  such as fundraising, sponsoring, and educating on many issues that disproportionately  affect women all around the world. From this point, the movement encourages people to  help join efforts to end gender inequality in their own communities. The “He For She”  movement provides a prime example of the ways in which social media brings women’s  voices forward in social media activism. Moving forward, this example — alongside other current social media activism efforts — displays a loose blueprint for the ways in  which women can begin to organize themselves for activism across various online  platforms. 


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