Our voices are being eroded and erased, not simply ignored

EXCERPT: Justice issues bring us to impunity. While the IFJ has been working tirelessly with a variety of international partners (UN, UNWOMEN, GAMAG, etc.) to tackle issues of impunity against all journalists, and with a focus on women, it has not yet made any impact in the newsroom or in the field. Some of these measure are aimed at those journalists killed in the line of reporting, some target harassment, sexual violence and violence – an area that, for the most part, remains under reported and underlying throughout the globe and the field.

In the most cohesive survey of it’s kind to date, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and the International News Safety Institute (INSI) published it’s findings on a survey of women journalists in 2014. Two thirds of respondents admitted having received threats, intimidation or abuse in connection to journalistic work, one third that these came from their boss, half had experienced sexual harassment, and a fifth violence. Most of these abuses go unreported.

They have not spoken because of fear of reprisals: loss of job, loss of freedom, and in some cases threats and loss of life. Families of targeted women journalists are also often threatened (see Colombia below).

What is clear from the above, is that while we applaud the work of the IFJ and their international partners to place these issues at the top of the agenda, we urge all of our affiliates to search deep within their own areas to root out these unceasing, unchanging threats to equity in the news and newsrooms: ongoing systemic discrimination, harassment and violence. To implement these measures, laws, declarations and agreements with the same energy applied to silence us and take action not to allow these issues to be pushed out of the highlight and back into the shadows.

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