In this generation of internet and social media, anything can go viral like wildfire in a matter of a few hours. Almost everything in today’s world, including protests and activism, can get fueled by social media. Movements like #Metoo are prime examples of it. These movements help a lot of people in different regions of the world, but still, there are many places which remain unaffected by these movements.
Many big news organizations have called #Metoo a global movement, which can’t be stopped, but most people in African countries haven’t even heard of the fame from this movement. Anything that happens in the Western countries is termed as ‘global’ by western Media. They don’t even worry about statistics in Asian and African countries. Africa is just showcased for its extreme poverty and malnutrition, whereas in reality, there is so much productivity and influence that comes out of the continent than the rest of the world know about. Western movements can only boast of being global and helping everyone, but it cannot proceed as cultures and intricacies of every country are different. The fact is that gender-based discriminations and sexual harassments are much more common in Africa than any other continent. From the lack of internet and access to social media to poverty, there are many reasons for it. The problem with these western movements is that they can’t reach people who don’t have access to the internet. It is not like #Metoo is the first movement in the world against sexual harassment, but Western media doesn’t acknowledge anything happening outside the ‘first world countries.’ A movement named #MyDressMyChoice came into existence in Kenya and Uganda when wearing miniskirts got banned in Uganda. In Nigeria, another social media campaign took place with the tag #BeingFemaleinNigeria to motivate women of the country to talk about their experiences of everyday sexual harassments. It gave the women a platform and courage to come out of their fear and do something about it collectively. When the female students of South African universities didn’t get their voices heard by the administration, they started a campaign called #Nakedprotests to get justice within a specific time frame. All these social media campaigns had the same motivation as the #Metoo movement but couldn’t get the same attention and support. No international media showed any news related to these campaigns against women harassment because they were not started in America or Britain. It’s impossible to have a truly ‘global’ campaign until this coverage discrimination exists among media.
#Metoo helped a lot of women to come up and reveal their experiences of sexism, but it didn’t have the same effect worldwide, especially in Africa. Also, these types of movements are very new, so the results are still relatively unknown. Not a lot of incidents mentioned in the movement have found any firm legal base to do anything. It is tough to do any investigation on these cases, as most of them happened 10-20 years ago. One thing that this movement has done is put some fear in the hearts of those evils who felt safe a few years ago. Only time will tell how these new age movements shape in the future for Africa and how the global perception of media being unbiased, changes.