Tackling sexist hate speech is a key theme of Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland’s celebration today of International Women’s Day.
“Sexist hate speech has devastating consequences for girls and women, but is not taken seriously enough and is often considered less severe than other forms of hate speech,” Jagland declared. “This is why one priority of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017 is to combat gender stereotypes and sexism.
“The Internet and social media allow people to act anonymously and often with impunity which is one reason why online sexist hate speech is increasing. Women politicians, journalists, bloggers, human rights defenders, actresses, gamers and well-known feminists are among the victims.
Women receive online threats and insults of a sexual nature, including rape or death threats, or threats to publish their personal photos and information, sometimes made by former partners (known as “revenge porn”). One in every four young women has faced stalking and online sexual harassment.”