8 July 2020: The call to end gender-based violence (GBV) against women journalists today at the Human Rights Council is welcomed by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. The report, ‘Combating violence against women journalists’ was officially presented today to the Human Rights Council in Geneva by Dubravka Šimonović, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

“Eliminating violence against women journalists is a high priority for the center that works on equality and women’s human rights. There is a global threat against journalists. We applaud the foresight of the Special Rapporteur in pursuing this topic and advocating for the rights of women journalists who face threats due to their choice in profession and gender,’ said Krishanti Dharmaraj, Executive Director of CWGL.

The report contains key recommendations to States to meet their obligations to include a gender perspective in all initiatives aimed at creating and maintaining a safe and favorable environment for free and independent journalism. It also includes recommendations for United Nations agencies, especially for ILO C190, the convention on ending harassment and violence against women and men in the world of work and calls for streamlining a system-wide approach to advance work on the safety of women journalists.

“This report comes at the right time for women journalists globally. States need to improve protection for women journalists, and be held accountable for the threats they continue to face at the national level,” said Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, Chief Editor of the CWGL Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence.

In March 2020, CWGL hosted the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Violence Against Women Journalists in partnership with the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against women, the United Nations Population Fund and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television to inform recommendations in the report released today.

“As part of CWGLs work, we consulted with over 100 women journalists from 38 countries on their experiences in reporting GBV and in those consultations found that a significant number face violence themselves as part of their daily work,” Lagipoiva said. 

The Report notes that since 1992, 96 women journalists have been killed. Sixty-eight of those women were targeted and assassinated in direct connection with their work. The last decade has witnessed a steady rise in such cases against women journalists, with 70 killed since 2010. Šimonović called on governments to make it possible for women journalists to work safely by fully implementing human rights instruments that are specifically aimed at eliminating discrimination against women and GBV.

CWGL works with women journalists globally in developing tools to strengthen GBV reporting and continues to advocate for the safety of women journalists in the world of work, through the Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence.


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