Enabling dialogue and collaborative action for countering hate speech and bridging divides
Countering hate speech
Gender injustice is crucial impediment in achieving equal opportunities for women, thus pushing more than half a population to the margins. In the current context of social and political polarisations and divisive narratives, gender-based hate speech, sexism and misogyny become even more prominent. By strengthening capacities of various actors, enabling meaningful dialogue and collaborative action, the project explores the causes and context of hate speech, misogyny and sexism in Montenegro and the best solutions to mitigate them.
Montenegrin society has been witnessing upsurge of divisive narratives and polarisation, including hate speech, based on various political, ethnic and gender-related basis. The latest EU Report (Montenegro Report 2022, page 40) notes that there has been an increase in smear campaigns, hate speech and use of gender-based violence against women in politics and public life.
Gender-based hate speech and misogyny have become a regular occurrence, targeting especially women politicians, most often online and through social media. Violence and hate speech is most commonly recognized to be present at social networks (34.9%), then during election campaigns (31.4%), media (17.4%), parliament (9.3%) and finally political parties (7%). Social networks become the number one place for the most intense violence against women politicians, including psychological violence, in particular in the form of sexist and misogynistic remarks, degrading images, intimidation and threats. Because of shame, fear and impunity for gender-based hate speech and violence, all forms of violence over women are rarely reported. Of those who have experienced or witnessed violence, 81.4% decided to remain silent.
Hate speech and violence against women in politics can discourage women from becoming politically active, from running for office or win the race for a political office, and even influence their decision not to vote and thus completely destroy the core value of the process - and that is active and passive voting rights. These developments may lead to Montenegro regressing on the hard-won progress over the last decade with regards to women political engagement and participation in decision-making.
The project aims to contribute to gender justice and sustainable peace, through strengthening women’s leadership capacities, enabling meaningful dialogue and collaborative action to address divides, gender-based hate speech, sexism and misogyny.
To achieve this, project will deploy the following activities:
Building capacities and networking of relevant stakeholders to address gender-based hate speech, sexism and misogyny, underlying divides and inequalities;
Enabling dialogue and collaborative action for constructive solutions for common good and addressing divides and their manifestations such as gender-based hate speech, sexism and misogyny;
Supporting government to comply with international commitments, standards and norms, and using promising global practices related to gender equality;
Empowering Next Gen advocates for sustainable peace and dialogue, primarily focusing on young women and men;
Supporting evidence-based action in monitoring, preventing and addressing gender-based hate speech, sexism and misogyny.
Project is financed by UNDP Funding Window for Governance, Peacebuilding, Crisis and Resilience, with contributions of Sweden and Luxembourg, in the amount of 300 000 USD. Project is implemented until 31 December 2023.