Rio Declaration


Second Latin American Conference of Women Journalists

25-28 March 2004



The Second Latin American Conference of Women Journalists, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from the 25 through to the 28 march 2004, organized by the International Federation of Journalists, the Federação Nacional de Jornalistas Profissionais (Brazil) and the Federación Argentina de Trabajadores de Prensa, discussed the issues related with Time Re-engineering, Public Policies for Women Journalists, The Quality of Information, Violence against Women and the need of conforming an International Net of Women Journalists.


In the frame of the Second Conference, situations were outlined and allowed the elaboration of a diagnosis expressed in:


- The lack of discussion regarding gender issues among journalists and within the Unions results in the absence of commissions referred to the matter.


- The lack of security in the exercise of the profession shows an alarming number of murders of journalists during the performance of their job in conflict sceneries, or victims as a result of denunciations. Impunity in these cases has been the constant keynote, immersing the responsible in silence.


- Despite the numerical and qualitative increase of women in the communication media, this does not correspond with their presence in positions of real power and decision-making.


- The levels of salary inequality for equal work between men and women are maintained.


- Neither governments nor private companies have given a satisfactory response to the articulation of the professional life with the domestic activity.


- There is no health and social security coverage for women journalists in most of the Latin American countries.


- Independent work for women has alarmingly increased with the consequential lost of their labor rights.


- The number of women journalists on scholarships whose work is utilized by the employers without any remuneration or obligation keeps increasing.


- A distortion in the professional performance of journalism is accentuated when the companies tie the payment of salary to the sale of publicity.


- Sexual harassment continues to be a relevant and alarming issue.


- The presence of women in high positions has, widely, not resulted in policies that produce benefits to women rights; on the contrary, they produce schemes of exclusion and authoritarianism.



PROPOSALS


- Create the commissions of gender within the Unions and strengthen the existing ones.


- Exhort the promotion in each Union of Courses, Workshops, Seminars and other activities that allow the creation of an adequate framework for the discussion of gender issues.


- Make sure that Unions include Collective Agreements, battle every form of discrimination in the exercise of the profession in all media, especially television, to all those discriminations related with issues such as: racial/ethnic, gender, age, sexual option and religion.


- Work on the democratization of media in order to form and promote women in directive and decision making posts. The arrival of women to this level of leadership, commit her role with another way of seeing, doing and exercising.


- Watch that the labor codes in each country are reformed, or demand strict compliance, on the frame of the OIT agreements.


- We exhort the governments and private companies in all Latin American countries to assume a compromise for the elaboration of public policies that contribute to the articulation of professional life with domestic responsibilities, as well as strengthening the health and social security systems, that include women journalists, no matter their professional status.


- Demand the investigation, judgment and punishment of the responsible for murder and aggression to journalists.


- We summon all economical, governmental, political and social actors to encourage the approval of laws protecting the rights of women journalists.


- Journalism as a profession does not allow deformations contravening ethics and its free practice. Therefore, we reject, as a violation of the legitimacy of the profession, conditioning journalism to publicity sales.


- Call women journalists victims of sexual and labor harassment, to denounce more firmly the abuse in this sense, as well as exhorting governments to enact laws addressed to exemplarily punish the persons responsible.


- Convoking all journalists with high directive posts, to assume an ethical commitment to contribute to the excellence of the profession in a frame of mutual respect, promotion and solidarity with those sharing their responsibilities in the working scenery.


- Strengthen the International Net of Women Journalists, created in the frame of this conference as a space for contact and diffusion, a platform for noticing the work of women journalist, so that they can prove the situation of women in communication media and promote changes in their actual condition in society.


- Hold the III Latin American Conference of Women Journalists in the City of Buenos Aires - Argentina.