The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today
marked the International Women's Day by calling on media organisations to help
overcome dangerous stereotypes that contribute to discrimination, by rethinking
the way they portray women in the media.
This call follows a series of initiatives undertaken by
the IFJ in recent years to campaign for a fair and balanced gender portrayal in
the news, recognising the role and responsibility of journalists and the media.
The IFJ says that the development of guidelines and
gender ethical reporting checklists is a starting point to address stereotypes,
silence, repression, intimidation (violence) and discrimination. It is now time
to take further actions.
"We recognise that shining a light in places where
some do not want their actions to be seen, can be a very dangerous business.
However, taking our own responsibilities for ethical gender reporting means to
break through dangerous stereotypes, and walls of silence hiding
discrimination, violence, and sometimes death," says Mindy Ran, chair of
the IFJ gender council. "As well as fair and balanced reporting, our
responsibility is also about minimising potential harm to those we interview,
recognising that the glare of the media can bring its own danger, and that
those seldom heard voices at the edge are as important as those shouting in the
In a special newsletter to mark International Women's
Day, the IFJ Gender Council is calling on journalists' unions and media to
reflect on the choices they make in the production of news and to reflect on
the negative impact this may have on the public's perception of women and on
"Not presenting women's lives as essential, valuable
and worthy of respect, but as simply victims or second class citizens, tells
whole new generations that it is ok to do so, when clearly - it is not,"
As part of its activities leading up to International
Women's Day, the IFJ is also conducting a series of safety trainings for women
in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
" The IFJ is committed to ensuring that women
journalists who report from the front line and other challenging situations
learn life-saving skills with a special emphasis on gender mainstreaming,"
added Beth Costa, IFJ General Secretary.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32
2 235 22 16
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries