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Misogyny, Social Media and Electoral Democracy in Zimbabwe’s 2018 Elections

  • Pauline MatevekeEmail author
  • Rosemary Chikafa-Chipiro
Chapter

Abstract

Electoral crises and squabbles between contestants have assumed new dimensions due to the influence of social media. Prior to Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections there were factionalist conflicts in the ruling party which resulted in Robert Mugabe’s forced resignation as there were growing fears that his wife Grace Mugabe would succeed him. Social media activity reflected misogyny against Grace whose ambitions were thought to be disgraceful because she was a woman. This chapter seeks to argue that Zimbabwean society’s misogyny which reached its climax at Grace’s rise eliminated any hopes of electoral democracy for female candidates. The chapter posits that voters, through ‘citizen-initiated campaigning’ on Twitter, fed into the politically established frames of the female disgrace narrative in discrediting women in the 2018 elections.

Keywords

Misogyny Disgrace narrative Social media Electoral democracy Women politicians 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and Media StudiesUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

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