“Research reveals that the scale of abuse aimed at women on social media is alarming, but when the target of the online misogyny are women parliamentarians, it is to be considered as a threat to democracy.
The Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO) deplores the online comment of a sexual and derogatory nature written by former PN candidate David Thake targeted at MP Rosianne Cutajar.
This was aimed to humiliate her by using a Maltese proverb that euphemistically called her a whore.
According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, ‘sexism, harassment and violence against women parliamentarians are very real and widespread’ in every country with 81.8% of MP’s worldwide suffering psychological violence.
These elected officials constantly deal with sexist and stereotypical comments about their appearance, their bodies and how they should behave. These remarks are not only made in parliament by their male colleagues but also by abusers, bloggers and trolls on the social media.
Online abuse poisons the internet and we need to send a strong message that it is not to be tolerated. Moreover online abuse towards all female representatives of our Parliament are an attempt to intimidate them and pose a threat to our democracy, to our political system and to any progress for gender equality in our country.”