Since its debut more than a decade ago, Twitter has become a reliable news source for many individuals. It offers a real-time view and perspective of what is occurring both elsewhere and in our own communities, enabling us to become more aware of social issues like violence against women and join discussions to become more involved with these causes.
Twitter enables us to share information and can function as a tool we can use to help us better our world through understanding, and create an atmosphere of solidarity worldwide. Being able to look up a hashtag – #vaw for example – in order to find news sources, helplines, or other activists is a simple yet incredibly useful way to become involved. In fact, in recent years, the usefulness of hashtags as a rallying cry for women’s causes have vaulted up to the next level with #MeToo and #YesAllWomen going viral worldwide as women and girls share their stories of surviving sexism, misogyny, and gender-based violence on Twitter.
With that in mind, The Pixel Project presents our 2018 Twitter selection of 16 organisations and individuals leveraging Twitter in the cause to end violence against women. These are groups and people who will keep you informed simply because they share the passion to create a better tomorrow for girls and women everywhere.
Introduction by Rebecca DeLuca and Regina Yau; Written by Regina Yau. Research by Rubina Singh; Compiled by Rubina Singh and Regina Yau.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 1: Acid Survivors Trust International (@Acid_Survivors) – Global
Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) is the only organisation in the world whose sole purpose is to work towards the end of acid violence across the globe. Founded in 2002, ASTI works with a network of six local partners in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Uganda, providing medical expertise and training to their partners, conducting research, raising funds for acid attack survivors, and changing laws. Their Twitter account is an invaluable resource for anyone to find out more about acid attacks and what different countries are doing to combat this form of VAW.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 2: Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) – United Kingdom
When actress Emma Watson shot to stardom as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, little did anyone know that she would become a feminist icon as an adult. In 2014, Watson was named UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and launched the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate for gender equality by giving a high profile address at UN Headquarters in New York City. Since then, Watson has championed a number of initiatives for girls’ education and the eradication of violence against women. Her Twitter feed is filled with signal boosts for various campaigns as well as her thoughts on feminism and women’s human rights.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 3: Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (@gecpdsomalia) – Somalia
Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development (GECPD) is a women’s rights NGO established in October 1999 by the current Founder Executive Director Hawa Aden Mohamed with the support of a group of women professionals. GECPD’s main mission is to provide basic education for girls and functional literacy skills for women, as well as address the issues of child marriage and female genital mutilation. Their Twitter account focuses on the latest news and updates on women’s rights issues in Somalia and is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in feminist movements in Somalia and the wider Africa region.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 4: Girls at Dhabas (@girlsatdhabas) – Pakistan
Girls at Dhabas is a collective of feminists working on sparking conversation around women’s negotiation of public spaces in Pakistan in order to combat the gradual disappearance of women from the public scene, as well as engage with the issues pertinent to gender and class in relation to the public sphere. Their Twitter feed is filled with conversations about women’s rights in Pakistan as well as tweets about street harassment and women in public spaces.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 5: Hablemos Sexo (@HablemodeSexo) – Mexico
Hablemos Sexo is an organisation dedicated to educating young people about consent and safe sex, preventing violence against women. They offer easily accessible information on sexuality and sexual health, aimed at Spanish-speaking teenagers and young people from all over the world. Their Twitter account is an excellent source of information about all these issues and, unlike most other organisations, they make extensive use of messaging through soundbites on posters.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 6: International Women’s Development Agency (@IWDA) – Asia Pacific
The International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) is the leading Australian agency entirely focused on women’s rights and gender equality in the Asia Pacific region. Their work includes research on the safety and security of women, the role economic freedom plays in eradicating violence against women, and women’s leadership in politics and communities. Their Twitter account is filled with tweets about the progress of women’s human rights issues in Asia Pacific as well as updates on their own work.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 7: Hannah Gadsby (@HannahGadsby) – Australia
Hannah Gadsby is a veteran Australian comedian and writer whose Netflix series “Nanette” – billed as her farewell show – put her on the global pop culture map by breaking new ground in comedy by bluntly and unflinchingly addressing the sexism, homophobia, and assaults which she has encountered in her own life and which many women and LGBTQIA people experience. Gadsby’s Twitter feed is similarly filled with thought-provoking tweets about gender issues, sexism, misogyny, violence against women, LGBTQIA issues and more.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 8: Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) – Global
Malala Fund is a nonprofit set up by Malala Yousouzai and her father to break down the barriers (including gender-based violence) preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school. Their work focuses on investing in local education activists, holding leaders worldwide accountable for girls’ education, and amplifying the voices of girls. Their Twitter account is a popular one with over 626,000 followers and their tweets focus on their work, women’s human rights issues (including violence against women), and girls’ education.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 9: Malena Pichot (@malepichot) – Argentina
Argentinian actress, screenwriter and stand-up comedian Malena Pichot was catapulted to Internet fame when her skit about abortion and misogyny was published on YouTube in 2014 – since then it has received over 1.3 million views. According to NPR, Pichot is part of a wave of “young Latin American feminists who have very skillfully used social media to get the message out, and take down long-held sexist traditions.” Pichot tweets in Spanish about various women’s rights issues and campaigns in Argentina.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 10: Native Women’s Association of Canada (@NWAC_CA) – Canada
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) was founded in 1974 to collectively focus on enhancing, promoting, and fostering the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women in Canada. Their Twitter account is an excellent resource for anyone looking to keep up with news about the human rights of Native women including issues such as violence against women, economic empowerment, and girls’ education.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 11: Raising Teenagers Uganda (@raisingteensug) – Uganda
Raising Teenagers Uganda is an NGO dedicated to ending child marriage and tackling the menstruation taboo in Uganda so that girls can attend school. They regularly tweet about their programmes (including the Girls Matter Clubs) as well as articles focused on the human rights of girls, girls’ education, and news about stopping under-aged marriage.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 12: She Decides (@shedecidesGFI) – Global
SheDecides is a global movement to promote, provide, protect and enhance the fundamental rights of every girl and woman. She must decide about her own body – so that she can decide about her life and her future. They take on issues such as women’s reproductive rights including the right to choose, family planning, contraception, and abortion. Their Twitter account focuses not just on reproductive rights but also intersecting issues such as violence against women and women’s access to healthcare.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 13: Sisters in Islam (@SistersInIslam) – Malaysia
Sisters in Islam is a Malaysia-based NGO powered by Muslim women committed to gender equality, the human rights of Muslim women and girls, and empowering women to advocate for change in Malaysia. Their Twitter account is focused on sharing news about women’s rights in Malaysia, Islamic countries, and Southeast Asia, headlines about violence against women that affects Muslim women (including child marriage), and updates of their campaigns and programmes.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 14: Tarana Burke (@TaranaBurke) – United States of America
Tarana Burke – a survivor of sexual violence herself and currently the senior director of Girls For Gender Equity – is the founder of the #MeToo movement in 2006 which went viral on social in 2017 thanks to the Harvey Weinstein case – a full decade after she first coined the hashtag. Through her Twitter account, she tweets her thoughts as well as various news and updates about the #MeToo movement and the anti-violence against women movement in general.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 15: The Girl Generation (@TheGirlGen) – Africa
The Girl Generation is an Africa-led global collective of members and partners brought together by a shared vision that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) can end in this generation. It is a platform for accelerating social change by bringing together hundreds and thousands of voices to challenge the social norms that keep FGM in place in many cultures. Their Twitter feed is filled with news and information about FGM and the various activities and initiatives members are undertaking to combat FGM in their constituencies.
Twitter Follow Recommendation 16: The YP Foundation (@TheYPFoundation) – India
The YP Foundation develops youth leadership to advance rights of young women and girls and other marginalised youth. They make an impact by strengthening young people’s engagement with policy-making at local, national, regional and international levels through a number of programmes which tackle issues that affect Indian youth including reproductive rights for women and girls, as well as male violence against women and toxic masculinity. Their Twitter account tweets about youth engagement in India, women’s human rights, and sexual and reproductive rights.
- Emma Watson – By Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
- Hannah Gadsby – From Hannah Gadsby Comedy (Facebook).
- Malena Pichot – By Ggrosvald [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
- Tarana Burke – By Brittany “B.Monét” Fennell (She’s Revolutionary at 01:10, cropped) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons