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An analysis of the #AidToo movement on Twitter: What impacts can a hashtag achieve on sexual exploitation and abuse in the aid sector?
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS).
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Abuses and sexual misconduct have been present in the aid sector for decades. In 2013, a UN investigation declared sexual exploitation and abuse the most significant risk to UN peacekeeping missions. Nevertheless, the culture of impunity and hypocrisy still prevails in the aid sector. A recent report supports that one in three UN workers has been sexually harassed over the last two years. In the momentum of the #MeToo movement and of timely disclosures of various cases of sexual abuses and harassment in the international aid sector, people soon started to use the hashtag #AidToo on social media to highlight the prevalence of sexual harassment and misconduct within the industry. This study examines the major trends and the findings of an analysis conducted on the use of the hashtag #AidToo on Twitter over a ten-month period. As of the creation of the hashtag at the end of November 2017 and until the end of September 2018, over 13,000 tweets have used #AidToo in their content. Aid workers, journalists, NGOs, as well as news media compose the primary contributors of #AidToo tweets. Although limited to the political sphere and of limited reach, the movement has been sustainable and constant over its first year. Survivors and whistleblowers are the first to acknowledge that #AidToo has created a new safe space for discussion and has incited additional victims to speak up and share their experience. Aid organisations are now under constant scrunity, along with their values, integrity, and funding. However, the online campaign has mainly been a Northern conversation, and one can wonder if the use of the hashtag on Twitter failed to include the Global South and to give a voice to the actual victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. The #AidToo campaign represents a real and welcomed opportunity as a wake-up call for the aid sector, although it is too soon to observe the long-lasting impacts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle , 2019. , p. 77
Keywords [en]
#AidToo, #MeToo, aid, online activism, safeguarding, SEA, sexual exploitation and abuse, social movements, Twitter
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-21819Local ID: 27749OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-21819DiVA, id: diva2:1481727
Educational program
KS K3 Communication for development
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-10-27 Created: 2020-10-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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