IFJ: Focus on Gender

A Collective Voice for Equal Rights

Putting the fight for equality at the heart of the IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists is a global collective of journalists trade unions and associations. The IFJ puts the fight for gender equality at the heart of its programmes. Discrimination in the workplace, both in terms of pay and conditions, as well as the fight for equality in society remain key issues for IFJ affiliates.

If you want to get involved in your local union contact

Find out more about the IFJ and its struggle for workers’ rights and media freedom at


La Fédération internationale des journalistes est un collectif mondial de syndicats et associations de journalistes. La FIJ place la lutte pour l’égalité des sexes au cœur de ses programmes . La discrimination au travail , à la fois en termes de rémunération et des conditions de travail, ainsi que la lutte pour l’égalité dans la société demeurent des questions essentielles pour les affiliés de la FIJ .

Si vous voulez vous impliquer au sein de votre organisation , contactez

Pour en savoir plus sur la FIJ et sa lutte pour les droits des travailleurs et la liberté des médias, c’est ici :


La Federación Internacional de Periodistas (FIP) es un colectivo global de sindicatos y asociaciones de periodistas. La lucha por la igualdad de género está en el corazón de los programas de la FIP. La discriminación en el lugar de trabajo en lo que respecta tanto al salario como a las condiciones y la lucha por la igualdad en la sociedad suponen asuntos fundamentales para los afiliados de la FIP.

Si quieres involucrarte más en tu sindicato local, contáctanos

Descubre más sobre la FIP y su lucha por los derechos de los trabajadores y la libertad de prensa

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Introducing AGEMI – a new project promoting best practice in media and gender

The Advancing Gender Equality in Media Industries (AGEMI) project takes an innovative and integrated approach to combating gender stereotypes and promoting an equal, diverse and inclusive media sector.

It has three primary elements:

It is being developed by a group of researchers and practitioners from three universities (Newcastle, Padova, Gothenburg) and two associations of media professionals (EFJ and COPEAM).

We believe that working together in an interdisciplinary team of educators and practitioners will enable us to produce materials and resources which will benefit both students and media professionals.

We know that the media industry, as with all other professions, have not achieved gender equality in terms of access, representation or decision-making, but we also know that there are many examples of good practice which have been initiated by individual media organisations in an effort to respond to the problem of inequality.

By raising awareness of both the problems of gender inequality but also the range of good practices which have been developed to address them, media and journalism students will be encouraged to develop strategies which will support them in developing a gender-sensitive practice when they enter the industry.

AGEMI also recognises the importance of encouraging interactions between students and practitioners and includes two types of encounter, a summer school and internships which will bridge the education-employment gap in ways which will enable mutual learning and knowledge exchange.

In this way, students gain experience which will help their employability as well as entering their chosen profession as women and men with a better understanding of how to challenge gender inequalities. For their part, media professionals will have an opportunity to input directly to the education and training of the next generation of potential colleagues.

This approach maximises the potential for transformative changes in attitudes (through awareness-raising), behaviour (through professional practice) and culture (through sharing and implementing good practices).

1 in 2 women journalists suffer harassment at work

Almost one in two women journalists have suffered sexual harassment, psychological abuse, online trolling and others forms of gender-based violence (GBV) while working.

Opens external link in new windowRead the op-ed of the IFJ Gender Council co-chair, Mindy Ran

Opens external link in new windowVisit our page Stop violence against women journalists

A massive 85% say no or inadequate action has been taken against perpetrators and most workplaces do not even have a written policy to counter such abuses or provide a mechanism for reporting them.

The startling statistics are revealed in the results of a survey published today by the International Federation of Journalists, the world’s largest journalists organization.

The survey of almost 400 women journalists in 50 countries – published on the eve of the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – revealed:

  • 48% had suffered gender-based violence in their work
  • 44% had suffered online abuse
  • Among the most common forms of gender-based violence suffered by women journalists were verbal abuse (63%), psychological abuse (41%), Sexual harassment (37%) and economic abuse (21%). Almost 11% had suffered physical violence.
  • 45% of perpetrators were people outside of the workplace – sources, politicians, readers or listeners. 38% were a boss or supervisor.
  • 39% of those who suffered abuse did so at the hands of anonymous assailants.
  • Two-thirds (66.15%) did not make a formal complaint.
  • Of those who did complain 84.8% did not believe adequate measures had been taken in all cases against the perpetrators. Only 12.3% were satisfied with the outcome.
  • Only 26% of workplaces had a policy covering gender based violence and sexual harassment.

IFJ Gender Council co-chair Mindy Ran said: “Women journalists from 50 countries tell the same story – gender-based violence in the world of work is widespread and action to combat it is either non-existent or inadequate in virtually every case. We need urgent action to bring the perpetrators to justice and give confidence to women journalists to report such abuses”.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “Workplace collective agreements, robust reporting procedures and action against perpetrators are urgently needed to combat the terrible toll of gender-based violence at work. For the IFJ and its unions tackling the violence and abuse suffered by women journalists every day in every continent will be a major priority”.

“The fact women feel free to speak of the abuses of which they are victims should encourage the setting-up or the reinforcement of rules, but foremost their application to put an end to gender-based violence and harassment. Further, even in places where pay-equality is guaranteed by collective agreements, a equity policy of promotion free from harassment should be activated, to also overcome the economic violence of which women journalists are victims,” added IFJ President, Philippe Leruth.

The IFJ is already backing moves to secure an International Labor Organisation (ILO) Convention on Opens external link in new windowgender-based violence in the world of work. The results of a second survey on union action against gender-based violence at work will be published later this year.

Singing for justice

Women in Chile are challenging gender-based violence through song, continuing a national tradition of music as a tool of social justice and human rights.

Just as the distinctly Latin American rhythms of Canto Nuevo inspired hope and resistance to the repressive Pinochet regime, ‘Nunca más, mujer’ emerges from a collective effort, striving to become much more than a melodious tune.

Read the full story and watch the video here

Media sexism is bad for business

More and more people are speaking out about sexism and misogyny, and rightly so. For the media, addressing it isn’t just the right thing to do. Sexism is bad for business. It insults our audiences. It denies our readers and listeners and viewers the representation and depth and variety of views and voices they deserve. It also shortens and disrupts careers of women who have to expend energy and time countering it year in year out. This stress and strain is real and exhausting, but we have the power to change it, and we have to start now.

Una Mullally: Gender balance is lacking throughout media
Read the full article here

Fighting for equal pay at the Financial Times

The following statement was passed unanimously at a well-attended meeting at the FT. Journalists at the FT Group are increasingly concerned that the gender pay gap at the Financial Times is worsening and that senior managers are not taking this seriously.

Data provided by the managing editor show that the gender gap for most UK FT journalists is nearly 13 per cent, the widest it has been in a decade, and worse than the previous year.

So far, FT managers appear to have prioritised commercial initiatives over real steps towards pay parity. And targets for action – including increasing numbers of women in senior jobs and improving female pay averages – have become recast as “ambitions” . The company’s recently stated aim for equalising gender pay is 2022.

This is five years away and two years after the BBC’s much criticised deadline for pay parity.

As employees of a media group that holds other businesses to account over transparency and high standards, we, male and female journalists at the FT at every level, want the company to commit to a deadline for ending the gender pay gap as soon as possible and to provide detailed averages showing that the gap is closing for all, not just those in more senior roles. These should include reference to financial incentives and bonuses for senior and executive staff, including the CEO.

We are asking the FT Group to share details of mean and median gross annual earnings of men and women by job title (reporter, correspondent, senior correspondent, assistant editor, deputy editor and editor) and by age, following the example of the Wall Street Journal.

We also ask the management to release information on pay gaps on grounds of ethnicity, social background/education and disability in a similar fashion. Chapel reps will also organise an independent survey on pay.

The year 2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Equal Pay Act and we believe that every company, and especially the Financial Times, ought to be ashamed if it enters that year with anything less than pay equality. As NUJ members, we would be prepared to support industrial action in pursuit of this goal should it be required.

After a recent leader in the paper argued that “women are right to be angry at the pay gap”, it’s time for the Financial Times to put its money where its mouth is.

Steve Bird, NUJ rep at the FT Group, said: “Companies have had 47 years to fix the gender pay gap and have failed. The FT is not alone in falling short but we believe it should lead the way in bridging this historic gap. Male and female journalists are united in their anger over this and NUJ members will do whatever it takes to achieve genuine transparency and end the pay gap at every level.”

  • The managing editor’s pay data are based on 405 staff with a UK contract. These do not include assistant and associate editors, who are predominantly higher-paid men. It is likely that the real gap is wider than 13 per cent.
  • The 13 per cent pay gap was confirmed publicly by James Lamont, managing editor, in an email to staff on 22 March 2017 when he said: “The managing editor’s office is working alongside colleagues in HR and the FT Group board to better understand what influences the gender pay gap and seek interventions to close this, monitoring progress actively on a monthly basis. The gap widened last year 1 percentage point to 87 per cent. We intend to understand the reasons behind this and seek to address it.”
  • Figures provided by HR show that the pay gap for FT Specialist titles – covering 80 journalists – was also 13 per cent in 2016.
  • About 550 journalists are employed by the FT Group, including FT Editorial and FT Specialist. More than 50 per cent are NUJ members.

Tackling gender pay gaps

According to an new ILO report, gender gaps are one of the most pressing challenges facing the world of work today.

Globally, women are substantially less likely than men to participate in the labour market, and once in the workforce, they are also less likely to find jobs than men. Indeed, their access to quality employment opportunities remains restricted. Overall, for example, women are more likely to work longer hours than men when both paid and unpaid work is taken into account. Moreover, when in paid employment, on average, women work fewer hours for pay or profit either because they opt to work part-time or because part-time work is the only option available to them.

These gender gaps persist despite the preference of most women worldwide to work in a paid job – underlining the fact that women’s choices are constrained by a number of factors.

Watch the ILO video

Using data from the 2016 ILO-Gallup survey , the World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends for Women 2017  report assessed the extent to which personal preferences, socio-economic constraints, and gender role conformity were driving gender gaps in the labour market.

Read the analysis by ILO economists, covering 142 countries and territories.

IFJ backs call for inclusion of full role of ILO in the UNCSW61 Conclusions

Global Unions Statement: Support the inclusion and retention of the full and substantive role of the ILO in the UNCSW61 Agreed Conclusions – specifically its implementation and monitoring role

Member states at the annual Sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) are currently negotiating ‘Agreed Conclusions’ on this year’s priority theme: ‘Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work’. While the first draft of the Agreed Conclusions contained language on the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Global Unions are appalled and deplore the removal of the substantive role of the ILO from implementation and monitoring of the CSW Agreed Conclusions (Version: CSW61–Rev.2 UPDATED20 March 2017), references to specific ILO Conventions and to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

This deletion, dilution and diminution of the ILO’s role flies in the face of the CSW’s espoused commitment towards women’s economic empowerment. This is a regressive and retrograde step and will leave women and workers bereft of protection and minimum standards at work.

We call on all trade unions, workers and the public to urgently contact and lobby their governments to reject this regressive policy and support the inclusion and retention of the full and substantive role of the ILO in the CSW61 Agreed Conclusions and specifically its implementation and monitoring role.

We further call on Governments and negotiators at the CSW61 to do the right thing and reinforce the rights of women and workers to minimum standards at work. The application of core Labour Standards, the right to decent work, labour and trade union rights are fundamental to protecting women’s economic empowerment, dignity and human rights.

Global Unions represent 72 million women workers worldwide and are present with a trade union delegation at the UNCSW61 represented by:

  • International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • Education International (EI)
  • International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF)
  • International Federation of Journalist (IFJ)
  • International Transport federation (ITF)
  • Public Services International (PSI)

Women remain under-represented in US news – new report

Women journalists remain outnumbered by men in US news. These are the results of a study commissioned by the Women’s Media Centre (WMC) across 20 leading national news outlets as part of its Opens external link in new windowannual report on the Status of Women in U.S. Media 2017.

The WMC, a non-profit organisation advocating for making women more visible and powerful in the media, noted that there had been a growth in disparity between men and women in many journalistic spheres.

According to Julie Burton, WMC President “Men still dominate media across all platforms – television, newspapers, online, and wires – with change coming only incrementally, and in the case of broadcast news, regressing at the three major networks…Women are not equal partners in telling the story, nor are they equal partners in sourcing and interpreting what and who is important in the story”.

According to the research, that was conducted over 3 months in 2016, women produced 37.7% of news reports. The number of reports produced by women anchors, field reporters, and correspondents has decreased in comparison to 2016 falling from 32% to 25.2% of reports. The research also shows that the gender gap exists across all news outlets, including newspapers, online news, wire services, and is especially striking in television. While men produce most stories on sports, weather, and crime and justice, women tend to be largely involved in lifestyle, health, and education news items.

To counter the gender gap, WMC has published a special roadmap towards gender parity aimed at media sector in general, and news organisations, entertainment professionals and media consumers, in particular. One of the key recommendations addresses the need to strengthen work-life balance for both women and men. It involves introducing measures such as flexible schedules, paid maternity/paternity/elder-care leave. Opens external link in new windowRead more

Byte Back!

The virtual world mirrors the ‘real’ world, where women journalists are harassed, excluded and subjected to abuse for their work.

Online abuse – a form of gender discrimination and violence against women – must be prevented to enable women to confidently express themselves in the digital space without nasty repercussions.

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017, the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) and IFJ, representing unions and press freedom organisations, called for strong action to stop cyber-bullying and online harassment of women journalists.

Journalists of all genders; their unions; media houses; moderators of social media platforms; the public and governments must take firm steps towards ensuring women’s rightful place in the digital world, without harassment, abuse and cyber-violence.

Only then can a diversity of information, analysis and opinion co-exist contribute to building healthy and vibrant democracies in South Asia. Join the IFJ ByteBack Campaign! –

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