Former U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday, November 10th said female politicians are facing a backlash over women’s rights which has been ”fueled by social media that rewards abusive posts and conspiracy theories.”
”Women in the public eye still face scrutiny over their looks and pressure to behave politely and meekly in a way that men do not,” said Clinton as she discussed a book co-authored with her daughter Chelsea Clinton about inspirational women leaders.
Her comments came after a number of female members of parliament in Britain announced they would not stand for re-election at a December 12 general election, citing abuse on social media including rape and death threats.
“I do think there is a reaction to a lot of the success of women and the roles of women right now. And I think social media has lit that up, in a very destructive and toxic way. People may have thought a lot of things in the past but now it is amplified and it is viral” Clinton told an audience at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in central London.
Clinton, who lost out on her bid to become the first female president of the United States at the 2016 election, has said misogyny “certainly” played a role in her defeat to Republican rival Donald Trump.
An international study last year by Atalanta, a social enterprise dedicated to advancing women’s leadership, found female lawmakers were three times more likely than men to receive sexist comments than their male colleagues.
Clinton said she was optimistic for future political candidates and others reaching into male-dominated spheres, but change was needed to ensure they had an equal chance of success.
“It is the structures of power that should change. Why are they so set on making it so difficult for not only women but people of color and others to get into the room? We are really aware of that. I lived that” she said.