These were recommendations made by over 100 women journalists from 38 countries who participated in regional convenings under the Journalism Initiative on Gender Based Violence (JIG) by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership.
Recommendations for Governments
- Legislation to protect women journalists from sexual harassment and abuse (including online)
- Mechanisms to investigate sexual harassment complaints and guarantee the safety of women who file them as well of whistleblowers. Protect their right to do so.
- Trainings for journalists to report on sexual harassment
- Develop code of ethics/conduct to prevent discrimination, harassment and violence
- Ensure that all media houses offer childcare and maternity leave
- Set up monitoring process of “gendered” forms of violence against journalists. Should be independent and driven by women journalists.
- Monitor government legislation trying to curb (directly or not) freedom of expression
- Gender sensitization in law enforcement agencies
- Standardize pay
- Ensure that private sector complies with policies and legislation
- Create independent commissions?
- Ensure that defamation laws do not prevent journalists from exposing government impunity
- Integrate human rights standards in these recommendations.
- Recognize the essential function of journalists and of the freedom of expression
- Acknowledge the gendered nature of online abuse: thematic/investigative reporting by freelancers (women journalists are disproportionally represented) most commonly trigger online attacks. Look at data showing that online threats can lead to offline attacks
- Denounce the social acceptance of online violence (especially given how unregulated the online space is) and regulate it as a form of hate speech
- Acknowledge and address specific risks of women journalists reporting on GBV
- Address impact of economic discrimination
Recommendations for unions
- Unions need to be completely independent and accountable to members
- Should hold governments accountable to enforce the laws of the land
- Ensure the safety of journalists, especially women and including independent journalists (provide training, protective equipment, esp. in conflict zones)
- Provide solidarity
- Avoid political polarization: revive inclusive unions?
- Spell out the role of international unions
- Address issue of women as decision-makers within unions (some unions have quotas)
- Seek definition of “journalist” to achieve the most inclusive protection
- Make sure that unions fully represent women journalists and their particular needs in the workplace
- Be proactive in running test cases and class actions related to GBV issues
- National union and professional associations should meet with labor ministers to discuss GBV impacts
- Address issue of women leaving journalism or self-censoring because of harassment and violence
Recommendations for employers
|Safe/ secure working space for employees and freelancers/ contractual staff/ ensure that there is inclusion of women||Harsh and stringent penalties||Implementation of existing policies / legislation|
|Proper gear when covering news||Ensure that employees mental health is checked – PTSD support
|Gender training for employees|
|Hostile Environment training – give gendered perspective (from sanitary napkins and toilet)||Digital safety across the hierarchy
(esp. since in many of our countries, we can’t buy them online easily)
|Immediate firing of people who are accused of Sexual harassment/ sexual bribery|
|For freelancers, ensure that there is insurance while not covering news – repercussions of coverage
|Stand by your employees while they are being harassed. They can’t afford to be intimidated.
|Ensure that stringers and fixers are covered
|A section of the CSR for journalists – now most of the time CSRs are for others
|Small media houses should also be covered – regional and vernacular media – to ensure that they are covered
How to ensure that employers help advance women
|Maternity leaves/ employee benefits at all levels – esp. community level|