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The past few years have seen an unprecedented rise in hashtag activism as women from around the world use social media to share their experiences with issues of patriarchy.

We share our top five feminist hashtags currently trending.



The Daily Vox, a South African online publication, launched its #SexistSA campaign recently to encourage women to take a stand against misogyny and sexual harassment. Under this hashtag, sports journalist Fridose Moonda shared her experience of discrimination and misogyny as a woman in a male-dominated industry. The campaign encourages women to expose everyday harassment on the streets and students to share their experiences of harassment and sexism on campus.


The term Fatkini was first coined by plus-sized blogger Gabi Gregg, encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to confidently show off their bodies in bikinis. Now, the hashtag is regaining momentum on Instagram and Twitter as fuller-figured women post pictures of themselves looking comfortable in their bikinis and their skin. #Fatkini allows us as women to celebrate our diverse bodies.


Started by activists @LilyBolourian and @cheuyawent, #FeministsAreUgly trended this past weekend after feminists (both male and female) shared selfies with inspiring captions. “If #FeministsAreUgly why did I start liking myself when I became one,” posted @kennedylryan. The movement aims to deconstruct the idea of mainstream beauty and fight the sexist stereotype that feminists are unattractive.


Last week, female staff members at started #IfIWereABoy, a hashtag asking them what they would do differently if they were men. The hashtag opened up much-needed commentary about gender inequality and male privilege.


#YouOKSis is an online campaign started by feminist Feminista Jones. After intervening in an incident of street harassment, she wanted to inspire both men and women to fight the daily scourge. The campaign encourages people to engage with instigators of street harassment instead of turning a blind eye.

Hashtags we can do without: #WearADoek

For Women's Month, the Department of Arts and Culture launched their #WearADoek and #mydoekselfie campaigns, encouraging South African women to tweet pictures of themselves in a doek. Bad idea. Women took to Twitter to complain about how backward the campaigns are. The doek, historically associated with servitude and submissiveness, does not contribute to the progression and empowerment of women. Gender activist @nombonisogasa described the campaign as a “gimmick and antithesis of the woman's march”, commemorated during the month of August.

Show us your inner activist right away by tweeting under the hashtag above you love and share your passion @ElleMagazineSA – plus, apart from a hashtag above you can add #ELLEFeminism. Or leave a comment below.

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