UNESCO – supported Survey on Violence against Female Journalists launched

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International News Safety Institute (INSI) have jointly launched a global survey on violence against women journalists as part of promotion of the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity. All news media workers, and particularly women journalists, are invited to participate in the survey, which will run until 20 September 2013.

Handout photo of CBS Correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo's Tahrir Square, moments before she was assaultedThe survey is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and was created together with the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). It is aimed at looking into the global situation of female journalists and the nature of the dangers they face in connection with their work.

“In many parts of the world, women are threatened and attacked for the work they do – work which, in some cultures and countries, challenges gender stereotypes,” Said Hannah Storm, Director of INSI.

According to her, these attacks take the form in sexual assaults, rapes, cyber-bullying, emotional harassment and threats against their loved ones. “Sadly, many of these crimes are not reported as a result of powerful cultural and professional stigmas,” she added.

The findings of the survey will serve as the basis for INSI to work further with field experts, which will be followed by a series of recommendations to increase the safety of women journalists.

This survey will allow news producers to confidentially share the experiences of women journalists, in order to get a real sense of the dangers and threats they face in their day-to-day work, and work to find ways to make the situation safer for them and their families.

The survey itself will contribute to the “UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity” which is based a multi-stakeholder approach to create a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, both in conflict and non-conflict situations.

The survey also complements INSI’s on-going efforts in the issue of safety of journalists, acknowledging that danger also spans all genders. Prior to this survey, INSI has published a publication titled ‘No Woman’s Land – On the Frontlines with Female Reporters’ and has kicked off with a safety training programme specifically aimed at female media workers in various parts of the world.

Women working in the news media are especially invited to participate in this survey, although men with information to add are also welcome.

The survey closes on September 20, 2013, Click here to participate!.

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