Women and Refugees in Twitter: Rhetorics on Abuse, Vulnerability and Violence from a Gender Perspective

  • Mar Gallego Universidad de Huelva
  • Estrella Gualda Universidad de Huelva
  • Carolina Rebollo Departamento de Sociología, Trabajo Social y Salud Pública, Grupo de Investigación “Estudios Sociales E Intervención Social” & Centro de Investigación en Migraciones, Universidad de Huelva, Huelva, España, 34 959 219703


In this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, women refugees are experiencing extreme vulnerability and violence, both during their journey and in the camps. Our objectives through this article are to analyze how women are being treated in the Social Media (images, discourses, social representations, or narratives). Data for this article were extracted from Twitter (with the help of Nodel XL Pro), from which we collected 1,807,901 tweets about “refugeesâ€, using this word as search strings in six different languages. One complete year was covered (starting at mid-2015). Our final dataset was composed of 862,999 tweets. Results suggest that women refugees are targeted just because of their gender. Women are constantly victimized and mistreated due to the perpetuation of a patriarchal outlook that justifies abusing women. We also found  many discourses disseminated through Twitter that reject refugees based on disproportionate generalizations and stereotypes, and unfounded and radicalised arguments., using gender difference to feed racism and xenophobia.

Author Biographies

Mar Gallego, Universidad de Huelva

Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Centro de Investigación en Migraciones, Huelva, Universidad de Huelva, Huelva, España, 34 959 219123


Estrella Gualda, Universidad de Huelva

Departamento de Sociología, Trabajo Social y Salud Pública, Grupo de Investigación “Estudios Sociales E Intervención Social†& Centro de Investigación en Migraciones, Universidad de Huelva, Huelva, España; Center for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, Universidade do Algarve, Portugal, 34 959 21567


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