IFJ Calls on Journalists and Media to Rethink Image Stereotypes on Women in News

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

women's lives.

"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,"

warns Ran.

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