Study: Almost 2/3 of women journalists polled have experienced abuse or harassment


December 2, 2013 – Almost two-thirds of women journalists polled have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to their work, according to the findings of the first global survey on violence and threats against women working in the news media.

The survey by the Washington, D.C.-based International Women’s Media Foundation and the London-based International News Safety Institute was conducted to coincide with the UN’s Global Forum for Media and Gender. It tracks instances of intimidation, threats and abuse, including sexual violence, physical violence, sexual harassment, racial harassment, ageism and digital security threats. It also measures prevention, protection and preparedness.

It found that the majority of threats, intimidation and abuse directed towards respondents occurred in the work place and were committed by male bosses, supervisors and co-workers.

The survey also found that the majority of those who were harassed do not report what has happened to them, despite the fact that more than half of them confirmed that the experience had a psychological impact.

“It is shocking to see that more than half (64.48%) of the 822 women journalists who responded to our survey have experienced some sort of ‘intimidation, threats or abuse’ in relation to their work,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the IWMF.

“When we talk about safety for the media, we often think in terms of staying safe in war zones, civil unrest and environmental disasters, but how often do we think of the office as a hostile environment?”, said Hannah Storm, Director of INSI.

These details and further information, including case studies and analysis, will be released to coincide with International Women’s Day (March 8, 2014).

The survey was carried out with funding from the Government of Austria and supported by UNESCO. It remains a live document and can be accessed here.

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