The Advisory Council’s researcher, Jane Ledwell, is quoted in today’s Charlottetown Guardian about links to some questionable content on Facebook. Jane reflected on the wider context, and here’s what she said:
It’s always interesting to speak to the media and to see what stories they focus on and what messages they choose. The main points that seemed important in talking with the Guardian were these:
- Social media is new for all of us, and we are all figuring out how to use it well and how to negotiate our private and public lives. Nominated candidates have a lot of work to do to figure this out in a short time before the election.
- As the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, we hope and expect that nominated candidates will use social media and all public messages to portray positive images of women and girls. Because women are under-represented in elected office, it is especially important to highlight women and girls in leadership roles and show women to be smart, competent, and capable.
- Women are more than half of Island voters, and we expect candidates will pay attention to the messages they hear from them about women and reflect positively about women in speeches and at the doorstep and through social media.
Some of these messages were of interest to the Guardian, and others we will have to communicate in different ways.
While it is important to run stories that demonstrate the limited and limiting ways women are depicted in society or objectified on some websites, these are the sexy stories on the surface of things. There are more important stories about how the effects of this inequality play out in women’s lives. We’re always looking for new ways to communicate these stories through traditional media, social media, and our own messages. It’s an important challenge for these information-saturated times.