Women participating in politics across the Commonwealth, from India, Kenya, Uganda to United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand are targeted with malicious online hate campaigns that are not supported enough by social media companies, government, judicial systems or the police. This disproportionately impacts women’s participation in politics and the representation of women in parliaments, especially those who come from underprivileged and unrepresented communities. It has been established that online violence can be relentless and accumulative in nature for women parliamentarians having an extreme psychological impact over time often forcing them to resign from office and leave political careers. Online harassment of women parliamentarians is a human rights issue which is directly connected with democratic participation of women and the state of democracy itself.
The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is promoting intergovernmental solution based collaborative policy formulation for this problem. We aim to approach this issue from ground level, intersectional analysis, and comparative research which is indicative of the geographical, economic and cultural diversity of the 56 Commonwealth countries.