Social Media, Sexual Harassment and the Politics of Class and Gender – Exploring Sexual Harassment Incidents in Pakistan

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Abstract

Social media has replaced traditional media as a medium of choice to engage in discussions about politics and social issues in Pakistan, especially youth. This paper analyses social media use in a sexual harassment incident that generated uproar and then compares it with another sexual harassment complaint made by a parliamentarian. The paper critically engages with the claims that social media will remove inequalities, flatten hierarchies, encourage free exchange of ideas and new interpretations. It argues that cyber space may reproduce views held in real life and instead of becoming a contested space, reinforcing the existing hierarchies hence neither change nor empower disenfranchised communities. It examines the issues of sexual harassment from a class and gender perspective and argues that such media has the potential to reduce existing gender and class hierarchies and can be a development tool to unleash the potential of youth and challenge traditional patriarchal views.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalAsian Profile
Volume49
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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