Social Media Championing Women
On Sunday (March 8th) people all over the world spent the day celebrating International Women’s Day. This year the cause attracted support from people of all ages, cultures and more importantly genders, with both men and women choosing to share their views.
The main reason for this widespread support for the event is social media. A combination of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn (as well as other platforms) makes marking annual events like Women’s Day much easier for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to voice to their opinion and contribute to the cause.
Before the surge in popularity of all things digital and social, people were limited in the ways they could show their support for causes they were passionate about. Fast track to 2015 and now anyone with a presence on social media can tell the world what they think. And that’s exactly what happened on Women’s Day.
Celebrities, brands, charities, politicians and the public alike flooded social media with kind words and affection for the special women in their lives with many also reporting about the struggles still facing women in today’s society. The subject of Women’s Day was trending in most countries with Twitter and Instagram being particularly inundated with posts featuring supportive hashtags related to the cause. They included #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2015 #WomensDay #HappyWomensDay and #WomensDay2015.
Happy #InternationalWomensDay! Here’s a list of powerful female accounts to follow: https://t.co/GaLhzWygcR #IWD2015 pic.twitter.com/HHdU32khh2
— Twitter Women (@TwitterWomen) March 8, 2015
“If being a feminist means I want gender equality and women being paid the same as men, then I’m a feminist”- @gregjames #HeforShe #IWD2015 — UN Women (@UN_Women) March 8, 2015
“Women make immeasurable contributions to our world.” —President Obama #HappyInternationalWomensDay pic.twitter.com/IcllNqPgcR
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 8, 2015
Gender equality and feminism is a subject which attracted a lot of media attention in 2014. One of the main campaigns was led by Emma Watson who was appointed the UN Goodwill Ambassador when she launched the #HeForShe campaign. The core focus of the campaign is to gain the support of men and spread the message that gender quality is for the benefit of all. She attracted worldwide support from celebrities, heads of state, humanitarians and of course the general public. Social media, again, was at the heart of this support with the full length version of her speech to the UN being watched over 6 million times.
Furthermore, to mark International Women’s Day Emma Watson held a live Q&A session on Facebook. The one hour session, which was held at Facebook’s London office, was streamed live on the platform for anyone with a Facebook account to watch. At the time of writing, Watson’s four-part Q&A Facebook post had garnered over 350,000 likes, 22,500 shares and 5,000 comments. Earlier in the day she had posted about the event on her Facebook page and asked for people to post their questions. During the live stream Emma Watson herself spoke about the power of social media and described it as, “connecting people to a world that they might not otherwise be able to access directly around them and helps them to think bigger”. Check out the videos on the #HeForShe Facebook page here.
Without the smart use of social media this campaign would struggle greatly to attract the support and worldwide interest that it does. Therefore, in order for complete gender equality to be reached, people from all corners of society must be aware and actively participate in showing their support; social media platforms provide the tools to do this and will be a crucial factor in 2015 for generating the support and ultimately the change that is needed.