Gender Balance in Azerbaijani Media

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its partner the Journalist Trade Union (JuHi) committed to campaigning for equal rights for women journalists launch today the to encourage women journalists in Azerbaijan to engage in trade-union work through training, networking, communication campaigns and lobbying and stand for election to the decision-making bodies.

The leaflet recommends the following:

1. Increasing the rate of representation of women in unions' leadership positions and considering the introduction of quota systems
2. Developing trade union work capabilities for women through training
3. Involving male colleagues in all gender equality related issues
4. Strengthening trade-union policies protecting women's trade-union rights
5. Ensuring the safety of women journalists and trade-unionists in conflict areas
6. Protecting women journalists against violence and harassment at work
7. Inserting gender equality provisions in collective bargaining agreements.
8. Encouraging women's solidarity to strengthen their role in the union.

The publication contains a section on the current situation of women journalists in Azerbaijani media. The conclusions of the survey showed that female journalists count for:

- 40-45 % of employees of national broadcasting TV stations
- 25-30 % of employees of regional TV stations
- 30-35 % of employees of national distributed newspapers
- 20-25 % of employees of regional newspapers

Despite this fact, women representation in decision making bodies remains very low. Only 10 women of all the editorial-offices surveyed were represented at the decision making level. Out of the most 15 famous journalist organisations, only one of these organisations leaders is a woman.

Another section of the leaflet details specifically the Gender Law in Azerbaijan Republic and the international conventions ratified by the Azerbaijani Republic while a special section of the leaflet gathers interviews conducted with famous Azerbaijani women journalists including Vusala Mahirgizi, head of APA information agency and APA Holding, Sevil Yusifova, head of the Association of Women Journalists, Aynur Elgunesh, chief-editor of Var.az news portal, head of press service of the Baku Journalism School, Sevinj Seyidova, chief-editor of the Hafta-ichi newspaper, Ganira Pashayeva, a former assistant of the chief-editor of the ANS TV between 1998-2005 before becoming a member of parliament.

Finally, information and selected advices from the IFJ “Getting the Balance Right” handbook were included to encourage best-practice

The “Gender issue in Azerbaijani media” leaflet consists of 43 pages and was produced within the framework of the “Ethical Journalism Initiative-Azerbaijan” project which is implemented by the International Federation of Journalists together with the “Coalition for Freedom of Speech and Journalist Professionalism”. The coalition is composed of the Azerbaijan Journalists Trade Union, the International Eurasia Press Fund, the Journalists Democratic League, and the “Ruh” Committee on Protection of Journalists’ Rights. The “EJI–Azerbaijan” is a two-year project supported by the Delegation of the European Commission to Azerbaijan and the LO-TCO.

The gender leaflet is available for download at http://ejiaz.org/yeni.pdf. The book leaflet is only available in Azerbaijani. For further information about this news release, please contact Mushfig Alasgarli, e-mail: Opens window for sending emailmushfig@ejiaz.org, telephone +994 50 324 65 30 project coordinator, or IFJ project officer Adrien Collin, e-mail: Opens window for sending emailadrien.collin@ifj.org, telephone +32 2 235 22 03

More information about the Ethical Journalism Initiative-Azerbaijan project: http://www.ejiaz.org/