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newtimes - 2 month ago

EDITORIAL: A deliberate campaign to get women leaders active on Social Media is long overdue

The most active Mayors on social media are all men.  According to a mini-survey carried out by The New Times, men leaders dominated the social sphere when it comes to engagement and interaction.  From district mayors to provincial governors or even cabinet ministers, it is the men who are more active compared to their female counterparts.  While this trend is not unique to Rwanda, the advantages that social media engagement brings to leadership will be missed if this trend is not reversed.  One starting point is having an open conversation with women leaders to understand why they are not active.  In addition, women leaders who are active on social media should share what their journey has been like with other female leaders.  Such insights will help build a winning strategy to get women leaders to engage more in the social sphere.  We cannot ignore the fact that women, globally, tend to be more susceptible to abuse compared to their male counterparts. This has led to women staying away from social media or being present but inactive.  An international study last year by Atalanta, a social enterprise dedicated to advancing women s leadership, found female lawmakers were three times more likely to receive sexist comments than their male colleagues. However, with a strategy that also protects women online, the attacks can be minimised.  Rwandans leaders are reaping rewards of social engagement, this should not be limited to only men. 


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