CFWIJ calls for an end to violence against women journalists

Hostilities against women journalists were also prevalent in the virtual realm, with at least 89 of them being targeted by organized trolling and slander campaigns on social media.

Today, on International Human Rights Day, the Coalition For Women In Journalism (CFWIJ) highlights a group especially vulnerable to human rights violations around the world - women journalists. “Gender minorities active in the press community regularly place themselves in harm’s way in order to ensure that there is a voice holding power to account. In doing so, they do not only find themselves vulnerable to overreaches of the state and various political groups, but also to the weaponization of misogyny prevalent in their respective societies,” the CFWIJ said.

As of December 7, the CFWIJ has recorded 810 cases of violations against women journalists this year. A horrifying 11 women were killed this year. Moreover, at least 169 women journalists were made to confront legal harassment, 130 faced physical assaults and 104 were arbitrarily detained. Hostilities against women journalists were also prevalent in the virtual realm, with at least 89 of them being targeted with organized trolling and slander campaigns on social media. In several instances, the personal details of women journalists were also made public online, thus exposing them to further attacks in the physical space. 

Meanwhile, in 2021, the CFWIJ documented at least 73 cases of women journalists being obstructed in the field, 64 expulsions from work and 50 cases of women journalists facing some form of threat or miscellaneous intimidation tactics. Perpetrators of violence against women journalists aren’t always politically motivated though. Nor are they limited to the state or the powerful. As many as 26 women journalists faced some form of workplace harassment in 2021. At least 27 women journalists were sexually harassed on the job, 17 were subjected to verbal harassment, three had their accreditations revoked and three were abducted. 

Continued Violations Of Grave Concern

All year round, the CFWIJ amplifies the violations faced by women journalists across the globe. In 2021, the CFWIJ intensified its efforts to counteract the ever increasing violations against women journalists around the world.

Reporting increasing press freedom violations in Turkey, CFWIJ stated that Turkey has routinely flashed red on their risk map of women journalists. In 2021, the CFWIJ documented hundreds of violations against women journalists besides repeated infringements on the rights of the free press and free speech.

According to CFWIJ data, the Turkish state has repeatedly weaponized its institutions to intimidate and silence women journalists reporting on state violence and overreaches by those in power in the country. The most frequent tactics employed against women journalists this year were legal harassment, police brutality in the field and unjustified detentions. 

CFWIJ recorded at least 94 cases of women journalists subjected to legal harassment for their reportage this year. Moreover, at least 82 women journalists were attacked in the field (the number includes physical assaults as well as other miscellaneous attempts to restrict press access in the field) and 18 women journalists were detained in the country. 

The number of violations in 2021 increased by a horrifying 244.11% compared to the cases CFWIJ reported from Turkey last year. For this very reason, CFWIJ has remained on top of the events unfolding in the country and has reported on the issues extensively as they developed. CFWIJ’s multifaceted coverage of Turkey includes issue-based reports, timeline of events, in-depth cases of specific journalists as well as regular updates on the ongoing court cases.