European Federation of Journalists

Report calls on EU states to collaborate with journalists’ unions for gender equality

A report on “Gender Equality in the Media Sector in the EU”, passed by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) during the plenary session in Strasbourg on 17 April 2018, calls on Member States and the European Commission to collaborate with journalists’ trade unions and media organisations to promote co-regulation in the media sector through codes of conduct.

In order to safeguard and ensure gender equality, media companies are urged to draw up codes of conduct and self-regulation systems together with representatives from journalists’ trade unions. This aims to allow preventive action and impose sanctions regarding gender-based discrimination in media productions. The report underlined the urgency to improve gender equality in the media sector by naming murdered investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia as an example of female investigative journalists being targets of violence and deadly attacks. Authors of the report also urged public and private media organisations to adopt flexible working arrangements allowing a work-life balance for women and men. Regarding the prevalent gender pay gap in the media sector, regulatory authorities and media organisations are encouraged to establish pay transparency obligations and implement the equal pay for equal work principle through binding measures.

Media literacy was also emphasised as highly important to promote gender equality. One recommendation called for gender equality to become part of teaching modules in undergaduate and postgraduate journalism and communication courses.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes this report as a stepping stone towards gender equality in the media sector in Europe. The EU report was issued by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (rapporteur: Michaela Šojdrová).

Photo Credit: Frederick Florin / AFP