Gender-based hate in the Slovak pre-election period
With early elections to the National Council of the Slovak Republic (NR SR) set for the end of September, Slovakia faces a stark gender imbalance in its top legislative institution. The data is clear: women currently make up just 21% of the parliaments’ membership, and the approaching elections are unlikely to alter this reality significantly. One key factor contributing to this gender gap is the limited number of female candidates fielded by most political parties. On average, women constitute only a quarter of all candidates on the electoral lists of political entities seeking seats in the parliament.
This underrepresentation of women in Slovak politics has not gone unnoticed, as civil society has responded during this pre-election period. One noteworthy initiative aimed at addressing this issue is the “Circle the Woman” campaign. It seeks to promote a more balanced representation of women and men in Slovak politics by supporting female candidates in the 2023 parliamentary elections through the strategic use of preferential votes . Despite their limited presence in the political arena, women, not just female politicians, face more frequent attacks and criticism than men.
This insight emerges from the present pre-election analysis of the Slovak information space conducted between June 1 - and September 1, spanning across various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Telegram, and TikTok. The analysis, carried out using tool by Gerulata Technologies, focused on two distinct groups: men and women who, by the nature of their work, occupy more prominent political and societal roles during the pre-election period. These include the highest constitutional authorities, politicians, and journalists who report on political parties and their representatives. The study’s primary emphasis was on quantifying and categorizing the attacks directed at specific individuals within the target group. In total, 76 selected women and 46 selected men were subjects of this analysis.
We have examined gender-based hate directed at politically and socially prominent individuals, both men and women, through an analysis of 300 posts. The posts, comprising 150 focused on women and 150 on men, were selected based on the highest number of interactions (encompassing reactions, comments, and shares) and were generated by the Gerulata monitoring tool utilizing a query containing the names of the group of women and men being monitored.
For the purposes of our report, we scrutinized the textual content of these posts, as well as any video or visual material they contained. Additionally, we analyzed the individuals responsible for hate speech, attacks, or criticism that transcended the boundaries of respectful political discourse. Through this monitoring effort, we sought to identify the most prevalent gender-based narratives and determine the intended recipients of these narratives, shedding light on the dynamics surrounding such discourse.
Read the full report below.