Safety resources for women journalists

| March 5, 2018

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Women journalists can face specific threats to their security, livelihoods, and well-being. These include sexual assault, online harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. Some of these threats affect both men and women journalists, while others can be compounded by forms of gender-based violence.

Freelancers, fixers, local reporters, and citizen journalists can be especially vulnerable to such attacks.

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television published a safety guide called What if…? Safety Handbook for Women Journalists. It contains the experiences and advice of many women journalists, including some who have covered conflicts and crises around the world.

The guidebook includes chapters on travel safety, harassment in the workplace and online, rape as a weapon, self-care and dealing with trauma, and making ethical decisions. It also includes recommendations for media managers.

You can read or download the safety guide here:

Women journalists experience a disproportionate number of online threats and harassment, which can have an impact on their mental health and ability to work. Women in News, an international organization that aims to increase women’s role in media leadership and in the news, recommends the following study: New Challenges to Freedom of Expression: Countering Online Abuse of Female Journalists. The study includes case studies, analysis, and recommendations to ensure women journalists’ safety. It is available here: