Stop gender-based violence in the media

Violence and harassment against women journalists can occur everywhere: in newsrooms, in relation to their sources, at home, on the way home, online. Violence and harassment have devastating implications for the targeted journalist as her well-being, her work, her private life and eventually press freedom are affected.

To mark 25 November, The International day for the elimination of violence against women and girls, the IFJ is calling on all its unions to campaign for the full ratification by their government of ILO Convention 190. Read the testimonies of IFJ Gender Council members in Canada, Cyprus, GreecePeru and Portugal on why ratification of the Convention is key for women journalists.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) passed on 10 June 2019 a new Convention - ILO C190 to end violence and harassment in the world of work, as well as a recommendation, 206.

We need this convention and its recommendation to be ratified by governments across the world. 

Why? Because it can save journalists’ and citizens’ lives by outlawing harassment and violence in the world of work and turn workplaces into violence-free zones.

Journalism can be a dangerous profession. In order to cover breaking stories, journalists put themselves in contexts of war, conflict and natural disasters. In order to report on corruption, human rights abuses and political chicanery, journalists often incur the wrath of the most powerful in society.

Women journalists who find themselves in such situations are often the specific focus of violence. According to IFJ statistics, almost 65% of women media workers have experienced intimidation, threats or abuse in relation to their work. This is a threat to freedom of expression and media freedom.

Abuse can come from all directions: a senior-editor who uses his position to intimidate a young female journalist; a female reporter reporting outside being groped or receiving sexist comments or being physically assaulted by her interviewee or bystanders. 

ILO C190 can bring about change. It changes female journalists’ lives by outlawing violence in the world of work and making it a health and safety issue media employers have to respond to.

Today, ask your government to ratify the convention and make a change in your newsroom.

Click here to learn 5 things you need to know about C190 & what you can do already to start changing lives!

Download the Global unions toolkit on C190: the Activity Workbook and the Facilitator guide (2021)

How can ILO C190 impact the life of a woman journalist?

It's time for unions to take action!

Revise the current legislation

Look at your national labour law to identify any provisions that prevent violence and harassment in the field of work, including online. If they exist, assess their scope of protection to see if they fit Convention 190. If they don’t exist, it's time to act!

Share the infographic

Download, share and print the IFJ infographic explaining how the Convention could change media workers' lives. Spread the word!

16 Days of Activism

Set up a meeting with your members to explain the advantages of C190 and how they could benefit from it in their workplace. 

Push for change

Speak to media employers to draw up policies and bargaining provisions to combat gender-based violence at work, including online.

Form an alliance

Join forces with other groups (unions, feminist organisations) to campaign for the ratification of the ILO 190 convention.

Explain the Convention

Launch a strong social media campaign using #ItCanSaveLives and #RatifyC190 to explain gender-based violence in the media profession and why your government must ratify the convention. Tag the IFJ in your posts @ifjGlobal