Tips for combatting gender-based harassment in the newsroom


During a meeting of women media practitioners in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, a TV anchor in her mid-20s asked to talk privately. Between sips of thick, local coffee, she explained her dilemma.

She was attractive, and that was in her favor. But what about a few years down the road? Women on camera tended to be cast aside at the first sign of wrinkles, she said.

“How can I prepare for when they don’t want me anymore? Are there other media jobs I can do?” she asked.

Over the years, I have met women journalists in more than 35 countries. I have celebrated their successes and commiserated with them over gender inequities, various forms of intimidation and cultural barriers that threaten to blunt their progress.

Challenges for female media professionals tend to have a familiar ring the world over.

In May, I put this to the test with 24 Ethiopian women, veterans and novices, gathered for a discussion on women’s role in the media. After introductory remarks, they separated into four groups to ponder the question: What are the greatest challenges/obstacles they face as journalists in their homeland?

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Source : ijnet

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