Gender disparities in journalism

Photo by Aino Haili

Regardless the calls for media to promote gender equality, one can still find inequal treatment between male and female journalists in the media.

According to InfoRefuge, people thought that it would be too dangerous for a woman to be a journalist in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were afraid that women would be put into situations where they wouldn’t know how to react.

The International Women’s Media Foundation published a worldwide study that reported nearly two thirds of the 977 women journalists had been the victims of intimidation, threats, or abuse in connection with their work. And nearly half had been subject to sexual harassment and more than a fifth to physical violence.

So why is media still hiring women to do a job with such risks?

“Women are more compassionate, more understanding than men,” Executive Chairperson of Namibia Media Trust, Gwen Lister, said in a session of World Press Freedom Day 2017.

“But generally speaking, it would be nice to think that women who are working in the media will think about how they can make a difference in other people’s lives. They can be the conscious (journalists) in some ways of journalism. Women as caregivers should take those issues to heart, especially human rights.”

While the works of male and female journalists are basically the same, to get equal treatment female journalist should put more efforts, including reading a lot.

“If you feel passion for what you do then it isn’t a job at all. It’s a love,” Gwen said.

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