The virtual world mirrors the ‘real’ world, where women journalists are harassed, excluded and subjected to abuse for their work. Online abuse – a form of gender discrimination and violence against women – must be prevented to enable women to confidently express themselves in the digital space without nasty repercussions.

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017, the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and IFJ, representing unions and press freedom organisations, call for strong action to stop cyber-bullying and online harassment of women journalists. Journalists of all genders; their unions; media houses; moderators of social media platforms; the public and governments must take firm steps towards ensuring women’s rightful place in the digital world, without harassment, abuse and cyber-violence. Only then can a diversity of information, analysis and opinion co-exist contribute to building healthy and vibrant democracies in the Asia Pacific.

We need you to create national discussions and to help achieve the campaign goals to:

  • Raise awareness on online harassment of women journalists in Asia-Pacific;
  • Engage men and women journalists to join in solidarity in a social media campaign against online abuse of women journalists in our region;
  • Advocate with media houses to sign on to a draft IFJ social media policy to take action against trolls;
  • Call on the public to call out trolling and harassment as a critical press freedom violation.

How can you take part?:

Online abuse is a form of gender discrimination and violence against women, and must be prevented in order to ensure women's right to safety in the digital space.

Background: Over several years, IFJ affiliates and monitoring has recorded the insidious growth of online harassment of women journalists. This has been documented in the IFJ'sOpens external link in new window Inside the News Report as well asOpens external link in new window The Road to Resilience (2016 South Asia Press Freedom Report) as well as in broader global reporting and studies.

Out of the 2016 IFJ Gender and Strategy Meeting in Nepal in November last year, IFJ affiliates determined this was a key issue for campaigning in 2017. So now is time for action to Byte Back against online harassment!

Campaign Resources

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A Mic Video original: Jimmy Kimmel's Angry Tweets is on to something. When it comes being trolled, many people on the Internet have it bad. But feminists in particular are often singled out for vitriol. (

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