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Lottery of birth
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2.5 Thinking point: Social media campaigning

Social media is, perhaps, changing the rules about who gets to speak and who has to listen.

Traditional forms of social action have been joined by social media and the boundaries to sharing information have been redefined. More pluralistic methods and forms of expression can inform those who would otherwise remain uninformed and disconnected. This is a key development in how societies and cultures generate new ideas and change things. There is a global rise in use of social media to campaign. The campaign against FGM is one example.

Case study: Fahma Mohamed

Described image
Figure 8 Fahma Mohamed

Schoolgirl Fahma Mohamed, led a successful campaign to raise the issue of FGM in UK schools through the use of social media. Within three weeks, her petition via had attracted more than 230,000 signatures. She received support from Pakistani girls’ education campaigner Malala Yousafzai and the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, who said he had been inspired after meeting Mohamed. Then education secretary, Michael Gove, agreed to write to all teachers in England and Wales to warn them about the dangers of FGM.

Activity 2

Using your preferred search engine, consider whether social media has significantly altered how things are challenged and changed.

Find an example of a similar, relevant social media campaign and summarise it, making a note of what it challenged and the effect it had.

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In the next section, you’ll again consider how the lives of girls and women have really changed.