Why #MeToo spread around the world

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, October 25, 2017.

One good predictor of a country becoming more peaceful, according to the 2017 Global Peace Index, is the degree to which its men acknowledge the rights of women. Security of the state, in other words, is statistically linked to the security of women.

This insight on peace and gender equality may help explain why the #MeToo campaign has exploded on social media around the world in the months since the story broke of sexual harassment accusations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Millions of women now feel a new freedom and strength to share their stories of harassment or assault. Many are not only seeking peace for themselves but hoping to shift the conversation about violence against women.

In each country, of course, the words of the #MeToo hashtag are different. In Arabic it is #Ana_kaman. In Spanish, it is #YoTambien. The French hashtag is really a command for action: #BalanceTonPorc, or “squeal on your pig.”

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