Journalists at South Asia Meet Call for Gender Fairness and Equity



Release: SAMSN


August 2013


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

Kathmandu, Nepal.


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

anti-discrimination policies.

·       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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