The eleventh annual meeting of the South Asia Media
Solidarity Network (SAMSN) at Kathmandu, welcomes the integration of gender
issues into the SAMSN agenda through the initiative of gender roundtables in
several countries of the region. These round-tables have culminated in the first
gender networking conference of SAMSN and the adoption of a gender charter in
SAMSN seeks to be the common voice of journalists
from South Asia. It represents all regional affiliates of the International Federation
of Journalists (IFJ) in coalition with journalists' organisations and press
freedom partners working for a free and fair media founded on sound and ethical
SAMSN notes with deep concern the attacks on
democracy and the growing fundamentalism, intolerance, militarisation and civil
strife in most countries in South Asia. This climate encourages the increasing
number of violent attacks on journalists, prevents the entry of women into
journalism and also puts women journalists at greater risk.
Women journalists at the SAMSN meeting have
reported increasing threats and attacks, particularly in Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. SAMSN demands impartial and speedy
investigation and swift prosecution of the guilty in all cases where women
journalists have been killed, attacked and intimidated. Both employers and the
state must bear the burden of medical treatment and provide compensation to
affected journalists and their families. SAMSN also notes with concern the
increasing cases of sexual harassment at the workplace in the entire South Asia
SAMSN commits itself to promoting gender justice
and equality of opportunity for all media professionals regardless of caste,
class, ethnicity, religion or minority status and demand that:
· Women journalists must be offered
equal professional opportunities in recruitment, training and employment,
assignments and promotions, job security and security at the workplace.
· Media houses must adopt clear
· Media employers must ensure
mechanisms to ensure safety, particularly provision of transport for those who
work at night or are sent out on critical assignments; as well as provision for
insurance of all employees.
· Laws against sexual harassment at
the workplace be introduced and implemented in all eight South Asian countries.
Employers must deal with such problems in a fair, impartial and lawful manner.
· The recognition of parental rights
of all journalists and provision of maternity and paternity leave, flexible
working hours and childcare services by media employers.
· Media content must include a range
of female perspectives, including in reports and analyses of politics, crime,
economics, national security and war.
As a coalition of journalists’ organisations and
trade unions, SAMSN commits to
encouraging the greater participation of women in its activities and to the
creation of gender committees within all partner organisations to implement
campaigns against sexual harassment.
The eleventh meeting of SAMSN endorses the Gender
Charter (SAMSN Gender Charter.pdf) that emerged from the regional networking conference as an official
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