Hate speech widely used on women in power -Report

Reech Malual, the Executive Director of Screen of Rights (facebook photo):

By Kidega Livingstone

Screen of Rights through Action against Hate yesterday released a Gender-Based Hate Speech Report, indicating that hate speech is being widely used on women in positions.

The Report is an account of online attacks on women and how offline events connected to females and gender-based violence has been turned to dividing communities as well as being wrongly connected to current conflict.

According to Executive Director for Screen of Rights Mr Reech Malual, hate speech has been common in the social media especially by South Sudanese living abroad.

“Women appointed to senior positions in the government often suffer attacks on social media as being accused of using themselves to get such positions; this is very discouraging and in fact can be a frustrating factor for women to excel in professions and therefore should not be tolerated by all South Sudanese on or offline,” Malual said.

Manual stressed that all hate messages with regards to South Sudan have been responded to across the globe that resulted into awareness. “Some made up stories or fake news are always dangerous and can cause division at any zero minute if not responded to accordingly,” Malual stressed.

The hate speech index in the report showed that every hate speech online was countered with a positive posting by either activist against hate speech or people who have been made aware of the dangers of hate speech and its implications on the general population.

“A negative propaganda or fake news rather is highly geared towards women of influence in either the government or armed opposition, this is not new but has recently increased with which fellow male might have found it easier to disadvantage their female counterparts in politics or when questing for a position,” Malual said.

“This is dangerous and in fact discourages women to joint public offices or constitutional positions in fear of being social torn,” he added.

Malual encouraged the South Sudan Media Authority and the Commission on access to Information to collaborate to protect the vulnerable groups as women and children from being dehumanized in the name of free speech.

The Report recommended the government to strengthen its policies towards social media and not to infringe on the rights free speech and the right of access to information;

“The government should fight against impunity and work hard to establish viable judicial system that delivers justice for all and in a sincere faith,” it said.



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