Gender-based violence continues to affect us negatively and urgent action needs to be taken. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 seeks to achieve gender equality, but the progress on the ground is minimal. In journalism, women media workers are the most likely targets of online harassment that is exerted to silence their voices, enforce self-censorship, challenge gender equality, and denigrate women. Misogyny and queer-phobia are rampant in social media networks, including in the form of threats of rape and physical violence.
Besides causing trauma, fear, anxiety, and mental issues to the women experiencing them, these kinds of harassment have a chilling effect on press freedom and freedom of expression. In extreme cases, these attacks lead women journalists to self-censorship and silence their voices.
Under the umbrella of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) mechanism, ECPMF’s Women’s Reporting Point aims to deepen a gender-specific aspect of the safety of journalists and encourages women media workers to report it if they are subjected to harassment or they witness it in their journalistic work. Reports received are given priority, treated confidentially, and are only handled by women staff.
*ECPMF strives for a Europe that is free from any gender-related discrimination. All people who identify as female/woman or non-binary are addressed in this article and in the ECPMF’s Women’s Reporting Point and support programmes.