Chapter by Kristin Orgeret Skare and Florence Namasinga Selnes in Social Media and Elections in Africa, Volume 2:
Women and Election Activism in Uganda: The Pads4Girls Social Media Campaign
This chapter draws on experiences from Uganda to interrogate social media’s potential to facilitate women’s participation in electoral processes. By taking the Pads4Girls campaign in the aftermath of the Ugandan 2016 election as a case, the chapter examines how social media can contribute to political change and electoral democracy. Social media’s potential in public communication has been demonstrated during elections globally and in heightened political situations in Uganda. Some of the most vibrant debates in Uganda were on Facebook and Twitter during the 2011 and 2016 elections and their aftermath. The data were collected through analysis of Facebook content about the Pads4Girls campaign and interviewing. The chapter builds on debates about media and gender and argues that social media facilitate conversation on electoral matters but their role depends on the context within which they are applied. The Pads4Girls campaign ended with the imprisonment of its architect over cyber harassment.