On the International Day to End Violence Against Women: Safety of Women Journalists Matters

2021-11-25 12:11


Safety of Women Journalists-UNESCO

Around the globe, women journalists and female media workers face offline and online attacks putting their safety at risk – these attacks can range from violence, stigmatization, sexist hate speech, trolling, physical assault, rape to even murder. In addition to being targeted on the basis of their work as journalists, they are also the targets of gender-based violence.

Studies have shown that female journalists are targeted online significantly more than their male colleagues, and that the threats they face are highly sexualized, focused on their physical features, ethnicity, or cultural background, rather than on the content of their work. As a result, these threats tend to silence women journalists’ voices and to deplete freedom of speech by interrupting valuable investigative journalist work. They also distort the media landscape by threatening diversity and perpetuating inequalities both in newsrooms and in societies.

A number of recent UN resolutions and reports show that there is growing recognition by the international community of the need to take into account the specific risks women journalists face both offline and online. UNESCO Director-General in her annual request to Member States regarding judicial follow-up of killings of journalists also inquires on specific actions taken by Member States to address safety of women journalists. A summary of the reported measures can be found in the Director-General's Report on Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity.

UNESCO takes effective measures to tackle the issue of the safety of women journalists on three main levels:

Research project on good practices in tackling online violence of women journalists

Capacity building on safety of women journalists

Awareness-raising on safety of women journalists