Why are women’s issues so dangerous to report?

To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is publishing a report that highlights the dangers journalists face while covering women’s rights around the world, and provides recommendations for governments, international organizations, and media outlets to ensure the safety of journalists covering these vital issues. 

RSF has uncovered that from 2012 to 2017, at least 90 journalists in around 20 different countries were attacked or assaulted when they dared to cover or talk about women’s rights or gender issues. Several months of research shows: 11 of these journalists were murdered, 12 were imprisoned, at least 25 were physically attacked, and at least 40 others were or are still being threatened on social networks.

This kind of research is vitally important to preserving press freedom worldwide. Journalists should not have to risk their lives in order to cover women’s rights in 2018, but unfortunately they still do in many parts of the world.

We cannot work towards journalistic freedom and pluralism without ensuring the equal treatment of all journalists — male and female — regardless of the material they cover. Please donate today, and help us continue to take action against censorship of issues that are vital to women all over the world.

RSF Team

Gertrude Uwitware
Gertrude Uwitware (Uganda)

On her blog, Gertrude Uwitware defended academic Stella Nyanzi, who reminded Uganda’s president of his election promise to distribute sanitary napkins in schools. After she published her post in April 2017, the journalist was kidnapped, her head was shaved, and she was violently beaten. Her torturers then forced her to erase all of her posts on social networks deemed too critical. The police found her around midnight, abandoned but alive in a remote part of her town.
Doaa Salah
Doaa Salah (Egypt)

The TV host was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds (about 550 USD) in November 2017 for raising the subject of single mothers, pre-marital sex and sperm donations during her show ‘With Dody’ broadcast four months earlier on the private channel al-Nahar. Her crime? “Incitement to debauchery.”
Miroslava Breach
Miroslava Breach (Mexico)

On March 23, 2017 the correspondent of La Jornada and Norte de Juarez was murdered in her car in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico while taking her son to school. She took eight bullets for having covered the activities of organized crime in Chihuahua – one of the most violent states in the country – including the femicides in Ciudad Juarez.
Gauri Lankesh
Gauri Lankesh (India)

The editor-in-chief of a secular and feminist weekly, Gauri Lankesh Patrike was killed on September 5, 2017 in Bangalore, southern India. Celebrated for her courage and outspokenness, she was returning home when two men on a motorcycle shot her with two bullets in the chest and one in the head. She was known for her open support of women’s rights, her strong stance against the caste system, and her criticism of Hindu conservatism and nationalists.
Reporters sans frontières
Reporters Without Borders

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