“Tell Me Sister” – Social Media, a Tool for Women Activists in Tajikistan Open Access Deposited
Instagram is the world’s most popular social media tool among people under 29, includ- ing Central Asian youth. Despite the growing authoritarian grip on print and online media, more and more Tajik women are opening up on Instagram to counter the perni- cious narrative that blames victims of sexual harassment and violence for speaking out against their harassers and abusers. So far, there is little research exploring the extent to which women Instagram bloggers are successful in influencing the wider female public’s perception of sexual harassment and violence. I seek to fill this gap by ana- lyzing whether Tajik women’s exposure to information on social networks influences their awareness of sexual harassment and violence. The following article contributes to the growing body of literature discussing the transformative forces of digital activ- ism in Central Asia by exploring empirical data gathered through a nationwide survey in Tajikistan. The results reveal the emancipatory potential of digital activism.
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