On November 23rd, the Women in Parliaments Global Forum (WIP) presented the WIP – Harvard – Facebook study: “Social Media: Advancing Women in Politics?” at the Mexican Senate. This is the third presentation of the new WIP study, which has also been discussed in the European Parliament and the Italian Senate.
The event was hosted and moderated by WIP Board Member and Senator Lucero Saldaña. Other speakers included President of WIP’s Executive Board, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, Senator Martha Tagle, Senator Hilda Flores and Senator Rosa Adriana Díaz.
This study, produced by Harvard University, is the result of a partnership between WIP, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, and Facebook. It is based on a survey that examined the use of social media by over 900 female Parliamentarians from 107 countries, including Mexico. The study confirms that social media are helping women break down traditional barriers to get on in politics.
At the round table discussion there was interesting dialogue about the report and its key findings. Senators shared and explained experiences in using social media and spoke to the ability to reach grater audiences. The intriguing discussion was a positive discussion about the power of social media. The risk of online harassment and the increasing online violence against women was also addressed.
Senator Lucero Saldaña said she believes that this study provides relevant information to be used so that female parliamentarians in Mexico and the entire world takes advantage of social media as a tool to shatter the glass ceiling and to see further advancement of women in politics.
Similarly, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, President of WIP’s executive Board said that this study confirms that social media is an equalising political tool. She said that social media is a resource with great political impact that, unlike other political tools, comes with low economic cost.
Hilda Flores capitalised on the importance of social media, arguing that “Today there is no way of being a political figure without communicating with constituents via social media.”
The presentation and debate were followed by a social media training by Diego Bassante, Facebook Political and Government Director for Latina American.
Pictures of the event: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wipglobalforum/albums/72157673253807113