Let’s march, Belarusians! : a case study on ”March on, Babe!” movement against domestic violence in Belarus

University essay from Lunds universitet/Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap

Abstract: 5 October 2018, President Aliaksandr Lukashenka lashed out against a draft bill of the Law Against Domestic Violence. That very same day activists Svetlana Gatalskaya and Marysha Korzh created a Facebook page called “March On, Baby” to push for the rejected bill. After 48 hours, about 1700 both female and male Belarusians joined it. This thesis uses “March on, Baby” movement as a case study to look into how social media contributes to the development of civil society in Belarus. The entry point is domestic violence and the deconstruction of existing social norms. The aim of the research is to see how “March on, Babe!” engages Belarusians in the political and encourages them to exercise their civic agency via discussions around gender equality and violence against women. The following research is using qualitative content analysis of the posts published in the movement’s group and on its official page between October 2018 and May 2019. The method is primarily based on the guidelines defined by Pat Bazeley (2013) and Klippendorff (2004). The main findings have indicated that “March on, Babe!” represents an important social phenomenon. It goes beyond its feminist agenda and has the potential to become a catalyst of social change in the country.

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