A study published jointly by the European and the International Federation of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) has shown that women in Europe make up more than a third (42%) of journalist's unions membership and leading positions (36%).

  The results of the study, which surveyed 21 unions and journalists' associations in Europe, shows a three per cent decrease in the number of female members and leaders compared to the results in the last EFJ survey in 2006.

"Although the trend for improved representation cannot be considered to be reversed our unions must remain vigilant as the gender equality issue is far from won," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "These results will help us launch focused actions supporting women in union membership and their access to leading roles".

The survey aims to assess progress made in reducing the representation gap between women and men in journalists' trade unions. It also examines the number of young women with youth membership, as well as freelance and permanent staffers' membership.

It presents an overview of union gender policies adopted by IFJ/EFJ affiliates in Europe and assesses to what extent the financial crisis has affected women and youth journalists more specifically than men in the profession.

"Young women make up 53% of youth membership in journalists' unions. This mirrors the extensive feminization of our profession", said Kerstin Klamroth, the IFJ gender council coordinator for Europe. "The fact that very few of them access leading roles is a concern. We should think again about the space, policies and structures we develop for women of all ages so that unions can better address the needs of our profession".

The EFJ recently elected a woman as its vide-president. The IFJ will hold its congress at the beginning of June and will decide upon its new leadership.

"The up-coming IFJ congress will be a good opportunity to tackle gender equality within our leadership", said Costa. "We are taking important steps to allow this to happen by adopting a gender mainstreaming approach throughout congress. We hope that this will encourage women to stand for elections and actively participate in congress activities".

Results of the study are available at: http://www.ifj.org/assets/docs/237/243/b0652ed-0d1a9f3.pdf

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries