Ahead of Kenya elections, women politicians face more online abuse

Editorial / Opinion Piece / Blog Post

July 25, 2022

Ahead of Kenya elections, women politicians face more online abuse


Esther Passaris, women's representative for Nairobi for the Orange Democratic Movement, on the campaign trail in this undated picture. Thomson Reuters Foundation/Photo Courtesy: Esther Passaris

Women MPs like Esther Passaris face threats, slurs and body-shaming on social media ahead of Aug. 9 vote.

  • Online abuse included sexual imagery and public shaming
  • Some women candidates abandon social media due to abuse
  • Social media platforms, authorities urged to crack down

By Nita Bhalla

NAIROBI, July 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) -When Kenyan politician Esther Passaris posted a loving tribute to her late father on Twitter, trolls responded with a barrage of abuse over an accompanying "sexualised" photograph of the 57-year-old in a black kaftan walking alone on a white sandy beach.

"Papou ... as you traverse the high seas, know that I will forever be your baby girl, #RIPDad," wrote Passaris, who represents Nairobi County, next to the contemplative image in which the sea breeze had slightly exposed one thigh.

Click here to read the full article published by Thomson Reuters Foundation on 14 July 2022.

Nita Bhalla
Thomson Reuters Foundation
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Inter-Parliamentary Union