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Online Harassment Webinar: Women in Politics Online Abuse

Today, along with the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI), the European Parliament hosted a webinar entitled 'Women in politics online abuse'.

The panel consisting of Maria Walsh MEP, Gina Miller, Transparency Campaigner and Businesswoman, Tom Felle, Head of Journalism and Communications at NUIG, Hazel Chu, Lord Mayor of Dublin and Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director Amnesty International Ireland discussed at length the additional burden and abuse women face on a daily basis when they enter public life.

The webinar was attended by nearly 200 people and the inspired discussion was watched by many more throughout social media.The #StopOnlineAbuse was trending at number two on Twitter in Ireland while the discussion was ongoing.

Maria Walsh MEP (Fine Gael/EPP, Midlands-North-West) said: "Hate speech and discrimination disproportionately affect women, people of colour, LGBTI individuals, and people with disabilities. I am working at the European level to bring in tougher laws for hate speech, both online and offline, to ensure a unified approach across all EU countries."

“In a digital world, hate speech is no longer confined to our towns and communities. It crosses borders and cannot be contained within national laws. A key challenge is ensuring a robust legislative framework that can hold criminals accountable across jurisdictions. We need to protect those at risk from harassment from people who often feel like they can act with impunity.”

Female politicians in Europe face significant threats, harassment and violence both directly and through social media. The reality of online abuse is a burning issue, which threatens women’s participation in political debate and leadership. The panel discussed the policy initiatives at national and European level, and the ongoing on-the-ground initiatives tackling this issue.


NWCI Press Release calling to action against online abuse against women
Watch panel discussion here