European Federation of Journalists

The EFJ celebrates the courage of women journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) marks 8 March, International Women’s Day, by celebrating the courage of women journalists across Europe.

The EFJ supports the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) campaign calling for access to leadership in unions and media organisations for women.

A recent report from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) concluded that “persistent gender inequalities in the media sector can be challenged by advancing women in decision-making.”

“While women have considerably outnumbered men in university level and practice-based journalism programmes and women are employed in media professions in ever-increasing numbers, the organisational culture of media organisations remains largely masculine, and women are still significantly under-represented in the decision-making structures of media organisations.”

More should be done to promote gender equality and foster the advancement of women within media organisations. In the EU, a recent survey demonstrates that women’s participation in decision-making still only reaches an average of 32 % within selected media organisations surveyed (both public and private).

Journalists’ representative organisations should also improve women’s participation in decision-making posts: women occupy 33% of the positions in the Steering Committee of the EFJ and 19% of the positions in the Executive Committee of the IFJ.

Women journalists suffer violence at work. Following the worldwide study published by the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), nearly two thirds of the women journalists questioned said they had been the victims of intimidation, threats or abuse in connection with their work. Nearly half had been subjected to sexual harassment and more than a fifth to physical violence.

The EFJ supports the IFJ campaign Stop Violence Against Women Journalists! .

On this International Women’s Day, the EFJ would like to pay tribute to four women journalists who struggle with strength and determination for freedom of the press in Europe.

  • We do not forget the struggle of the prominent investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, still imprisoned in Azerbaijan. Please join our solidarity action and send your support letter to the Azerbaijani authorities in your country to demand her immediate release.
  • We do not forget the struggle of the Slovenian investigative reporter Anuška Delićfacing up to three years in prison just for having done her job.
  • We do not forget the struggle of the Russian director of the Mass Media Defence Centre, Galina Arapova, officially labelled as “foreign agent” by the Russian government because of her sharp criticism of current restrictions of freedom in Russia.
  • We do not forget the struggle of the Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink, who will face the Diyarbakir high criminal court on 9 April, for so-called “propaganda for terrorist organisation”.

The EFJ is on their side. The EFJ stands united with all women journalists suffering discrimination and violence.

(Pictures credits: Matej Druznik – Delo, Frederike Geerdink, Todd Williamson/AP, MMDC)