European Federation of Journalists

International Women’s Day: Solidarity with female journalists risking their lives to report the news

Credit: Mariya Malevska / NUJU

On International Women’s Day, the Gender and Diversity Expert Group (GENDEG) of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) stands in solidarity with the female journalists and media workers risking their lives to inform the world.

In various countries around Europe, conflicts and authoritarian regimes are ongoing and many women journalists are on the ground or in exile reporting in extremely difficult conditions. In Belarus, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, female journalists are behind bars, physically assaulted, harassed, or exposed to unsafe situations.

In Ukraine, at least five female journalists are held in captivity on the Russia-controlled territories, and since February 2022, seven journalists have been killed, according to the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU). Since the beginning of the large-scale invasion, over 30 women have been injured or have suffered damage to newsrooms and housing. Over 2000 journalists have been forced to leave their home. They also face online attacks, sexual violence, psychological and economic pressure. 

In 2023, the Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) documented 10 cases of assassination attempt, hacking, threats and intimidation orchestrated by the Russian government against women journalists in exile in other European countries, such as in Czechia, Germany, France, Georgia, United Kingdom and Ukraine.

We also remind that women investigating crime, mafia and corruption in Europe face intimidation and threats to their life and that of their family. In Italy, Aversa journalist Marilena Natale is one of the female journalists living under armed guard in 2023, due to death threats made by a Casalesi mafia leader. 

On International Women’s Day, the GENDEG dedicates this day to all female journalists and media workers who put their lives at risk to perform their crucial work of informing citizens, who don’t give up despite hardships.

Your resilience and important role in revealing the truth are invaluable.