UNESCO stands up against online harassment of women journalists

women journalists

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, together with Member States from the Group for the Safety of Journalists at UNESCO, is organising, a conference to tackle the online harassment of women journalists.

The conference titled “Standing up against online harassment of women journalists – What works?”, will take place on 18 June 2019 at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

According to the statement by UNESCO, while the Internet is a valuable tool for journalists to acquire and disseminate information, it is also increasingly being utilised by sexist abusers to commit violence on an unprecedented scale. Insults, public shaming, intimidation, hacking and cyber-stalking are but a few of the types of behaviour that women journalists are systematically confronted with on the internet.

Faced with the growing ubiquity of online harassment, some women journalists are forced to restrict the scope of issues they report on in order to protect themselves, as a recent survey by Trollbusters and IWMF shows.

Beyond having a significant impact on their professional opportunities, online harassment also has profound emotional and physical consequences for women journalists. Too many experience long-lasting fear, anxiety and trauma.

Discussions will feature a range of prominent women journalists coming from Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark and Nigeria. Experts from Twitter, The Guardian and Libération, as well as prosecutors and lawyers dealing with cases of online harassment, will also contribute to the discussions.

Moderated by France 24 journalist Nadia Massih, the talks will shed light on the perspectives of women journalists on online harassment as well as on practical and legal measures that could be formulated to both alleviate the effects of online harassment and prevent hate from being spread by abusers.

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  • Date: 18 June 2019
  • Time: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Where: UNESCO, HQ Paris. Room IV (Entrance: 125 Avenue de Suffren)
  • Contacts: Saorla McCabe, Programme Specialist, UNESCO: s.mccabe@unesco.org
    Anna Maria Baumgartner, Attachée, Permanent Delegation of Austria to UNESCO: anna-maria.baumgartner@bmeia.gv.at