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Social Media: A New Tool for Peacebuilding in Italy

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Anouna, Jasmine 


Gender-based violence against women, defined as the systematic harm inflicted on individuals and/or groups based on gender, persists in modern-day Italy. I find that current discussions and policies to mitigate gender-based violence neglect a fundamental direction: prevention. Experts and policymakers specializing in the issue widely neglect a cultural assessment to explore why gender-based violence persists in order to address these deeper roots. Accordingly, I explore the ways that the Italian media is complicit in reproducing a culture of violence. This review considers one tool that remains largely overlooked within the project to ameliorate violence: social media. Current opinions on social media are largely dominated by its negative implications. In contrast, my research sheds an optimistic light on social media by exposing how certain projects on Instagram address and challenge gender-based violence. Two projects in particular convey the point: \textit{Il meglio delle donne} and \textit{Freeda}. Through a content analysis of the images and videos shared on the projects, I illustrate how they serve as unique resources for policy, and use their work as a basis for recommendations to policymakers to promote the social development necessary to counter a culture of gender-based violence. The projects disrupt traditional patterns of cultural formation and help to build a more holistic citizenship, especially for marginalized groups, in ways that merit greater attention particularly from politicians and academics.



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Cambridge Journal of Science and Policy

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Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange

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