Women’s right to freedom of expression requires them to be equally able to share their ideas and opinions – online and offline – without censorship or fear of retaliation, which can drive them out of public debate.
Proposals to improve journalists’ safety often assume that one size fits all. Yet ARTICLE 19 has found that women journalists face uniquely gendered risks – from workplace harassment to online rape threats and physical attacks. A gendered lens is vital to understand and mitigate these risks.
Women journalists are not a monolithic group. The risks and abuse they face differ depending on their race, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, and other characteristics. Those who already face oppression in one form or another typically face greater risks and harsher abuse.
Such an approach requires us to attend to women’s everyday lives, in all their diversity. And it enables us to learn from women’s creativity and resilience in the face of structural inequalities.
An intersectional feminist approach – one that accounts for these intersecting forms of oppression – is needed to enhance the safety of all women journalists, everywhere.
ARTICLE 19’s new project, Equally Safe: Towards a Feminist Approach to the Safety of Journalists, offers new research, case studies from 6 countries, practical guidelines, and advocacy tools. These will help civil society, journalists, researchers, and policy makers to apply an intersectional feminist approach in their work.
Those responsible are multiple, varied (from governments to sources, colleagues, and family members), and rarely held accountable.
An intersectional feminist approach is needed to enhance the safety of all women journalists, including those facing multiple forms of discrimination.
Worldwide – as our new research shows – women journalists are designing solutions that work for them, which we can learn from and replicate.
Voices from our research
Women should not be negotiating for their space within their place of work. The time for responses designed by men, for men is over; it is time women took the lead. Dilrukshi Handunetti, South Asia Women in Media, Sri Lanka
In a country where women are on the sidelines of leadership in the media industry, [we are] founded and self-managed by peripheral and black women. Jessica Moreara, Nós, Mulheres da Periferia (We, Women from the Periphery), Brazil
Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendro created the space for women to show solidarity against inequality and injustice. Nasimun Ara Huq Minu, President, Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendro (Bangladesh Women Journalists Centre)
It is not possible to speak of informational pluralism if women are not in the media. Nataly Gonzáles Díaz, General Coordinator, Red de Periodistas y Comunicadoras Feministas de Chile (Feminist Network of Journalists and Communicators of Chile)
Reporting from a remote district is very challenging, my family members are in constant fear that I could be abducted, if not killed. Menuka Dhungana, reporter, Kantipur Daily, Nepal
The idea of the “macho” man is so attached to the society that it is very difficult to combat it. Vivian López, Judge in the 18th Civil and Commercial Court, Paraguay