Attacks against women journalists increasing
By Roni Alasor
Brussels, 15 April 2021 - Middle East Diplomatic- Women journalists are especially vulnerable in worldwide. Just in the last months, around over 100 cases of threats, assaults, and arrests of women journalists has been reported by The Coalition For Women In Journalism and UNESCO. The COVID-19 pandemic worsening the situation.
The International Federation of Journalists announced that 65 journalists worldwide were killed while on duty in 2020, and 229 journalists were in prison. Nearly all of them are men journalist. While Turkey is leading of imprisoning journalists, Mexico is ranked first in journalist murders for the fourth time in the last five years, followed by 14 journalists killed in 2021, Afghanistan with 10, Pakistan 9 and India with eight.
However, studies have shown that female journalists are targets online significantly more than their male colleagues are, with the threats they face often highly sexualized and frequently focused on their physical features, ethnicity, or cultural background rather than on the content of their work.
Women journalists’ like their male counterparts play a pivotal role in the public sphere as they report on critical issues in society. Female journalists are however a target for threats and violence, both online and offline.
Taking from UNESCO-ICFJ global survey results on online violence against women journalists 73% of women journalists surveyed reported having experienced online violence in the course of their work 20% reported being attacked offline in connection with online violence they had experienced. Additionally, 17% of women journalist respondents said they self-censor because of online violence.
The UNESCO has launched a campaign aims at addressing online violence issues against women journalists, with concrete evidence-based recommendations, targeting all stakeholders (including social media platforms, law enforcement, policy-makers, judicial actors, civil society organisations, and media houses).
Source : UNESCO and The International Federation of Journalists is the global voice of journalists. Founded in 1926, it is the world’s largest organisation of journalists, representing 600,000 media professionals in 187 unions and associations in more than 140 countries.