24 Nov 2011 IFJ denounces extreme levels of violence faced by women journalists worldwide
“It is even more sobering when we consider that the majority of these crimes remain unsolved, and attackers or killers do not face justice,” say Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary and Mindy Ran, Chair of the IFJ gender council. “The climate of impunity for crimes against female journalists constitutes a serious threat to the most fundamental of free expression rights. Moreover, there is an on-going concern over the fact that the authorities tend to deny that these women have been killed because of their work as journalist. Instead, they tend to indicate robbery or “personal issues” as motives of the media killings.”
According to United Nations data, up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. Between 40 and 50 percent of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advancements, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at their workplace. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, more than 8000 cases of sexual violence have been perpetuated yearly in 2009 and 2010.
The IFJ also says that in some regions it is considered a taboo to report sexual assaults, creating a situation where the survivor is being further victimised and made to feel the guilty party. This attitude makes for an effective use of assault to silence and censor.
Among the countries failing to protect women journalists adequately the IFJ points at Mexico, the Philippines, Somalia, Russia, Nepal and Israel.
WACC, in partnership with global networks such as the IFJ, has long continued to denounce all forms of violence against women and strongly advocates for equal representation of men and women in the media. To learn more about the WACC Media and Gender Justice programme, visit: http://www.waccglobal.org/en/programmes/media-and-gender-justice.html
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 131 countries. For more information about the IFJ, visit: http://www.ifj.org/en or contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07/ or Mindy Ran, IFJ Gender Council Chair on + 31 644 63 70 65.