Announcing a New Partnership to Combat Violence Against Women in Politics and the Media

This post was originally published on NDI’s website, here.

One of the most serious barriers to inclusive democracies and institutions is violence or threats of violence that directly impact a woman’s ability to participate in politics and in the media. Violence against women in politics limits representation and violence against women in the media undermines the comprehensiveness of the information space.  These forms of violence against women are a global issue that has only worsened as a result of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, there is often a lack of trust between women in politics and women in the media, which is often stoked by male leaders in both sectors promoting a toxic media environment and driving women out of both fields to the detriment of democracy.

In light of these challenges, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) is excited to announce its new partnership with the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). NDI and the IWMF will co-host a program that brings together women in politics and women in the media to combat violence against women in both of these sectors. 

The program will be run in three countries – Mexico, Kenya, and Sri Lanka – with the support of NDI country teams, and IWMF staff and trainers. Through this partnership, NDI and IWMF hope to increase the safety of women in politics and women in the media both in-person and online.  Participants  will build coalitions and advocacy strategies addressing the negative impact on democracy caused by exclusionary media and political environments, and by violence against women who are active in politics and in the media.  

“COVID-19 has made even more clear the importance of access to unbiased and accurate information to drive evidence-based responses to the health, political and economic shocks of the pandemic. Stronger bonds of trust between women in politics and women in the media will help build democratic resilience. We are excited to be working alongside the International Women’s Media Foundation at this challenging time.” – Sandra Pepera, Senior Associate and Director of Gender, Women and Democracy, National Democratic Institute

“Make no mistake: Attacks, threats, and harassment against women in politics and news media are intended to drive women out of the public space. The tactics used against them are remarkably similar, and are intended to silence their voices. It is imperative that these pioneers, leaders, and change makers are given opportunities and resources to make politics and journalism safe and inclusive environments. We are grateful to join the National Democratic Institute to bring these workshops, trainings, and meetings directly to women in the political and news media sectors.” – Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director, the International Women’s Media Foundation