In a report to be released on International Women’ s day (8 March), the Gender Council (GC) of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) highlights high levels of gender discrimination and violence against women in the media across the globe.

In many regions issues of violence, safety, bullying and harassment continue to undermine  women’s role in the media. In some regions, women suffer from  outright sexism and discrimination in newsrooms and hiring practices, while in others it is the lack of access to promotions and jobs, or increasing unemployment – with women having the lowest rates of re-hiring and most often forced into unstable working conditions.  

Netherlands NUJ branch member and co-chair of the IFJ gender council Mindy Ran stated: “The aftermath of the financial crisis continues to impact many women journalists and their unions, with a return to the bad old days where equality is once again seen as a luxury item to be added on as an extra – not at the beating heart of our unions. It is a dangerous trend that will leave the most vulnerable forced out of the profession, or decision making posts in our unions, effectively erasing yet more of our voices.”  


Download the IFJ #IWD2016 report.

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The Polish parliament has recently agreed a new media law which journalist organisations throughout Europe fear threatens the independence of its public television and radio. The law allows the government to impose its candidates on the management and supervisory bodies of the public broadcasters.
The European Union is investigating whether the actions of Poland’s Law and Justice Party Government contravene EU law.
Meanwhile anti-government demonstrations have been held in Cracow and Warsaw. In Brussels, a demonstration in front of the Polish embassy was joined by among others the International Federation of Journalists to which the NUJ is affiliated. It says: “freedom to report and media independence are two essential pillars of democracy”.

Frederike Geerdink, a Dutch correspondent based in Diyarbakir, Turkey, has been deported by Turkish authorities after being detained two days for reporting on a Kurdish group protesting clashes between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants and the Turkish military. The Turkish authorities are accusing the Dutch reporter of “hindering a military operation and supporting a terrorist organisation”.

Geerdink lived Turkey since 2006 and has been based in Diyarbakir since 2012 where she writes about Turkish and Kurdish matters for Dutch and international media as well as a critical Turkish online news media In a recent interview, the deported journalist vows to return to Turkey “as soon as possible”.

Both the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) and European Federation of Journalists have vigorously protested this attack on journalist's rights.

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Blendle, the popular Dutch pay-per-view news website, is now offering access to major German newspapers and magazines. Some 37 are now accessible, including Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, Die Welt and Handelsblatt. Over the next few weeks another 74 are coming online. One major exception is Bild, which according to Blendle fouder Alexander Klöpping, does not believe in the Blendle pay model. Blendle say that their online kiosk does not take readers away from the print editions, but reaches a target audience which hitherto did not read newspapers and magazines.

Source: Blendle voegt Duitse kranten en tijdschriften toe aan zijn kiosk

Despite negligible coverage in the mainstream media, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has become one of the hottest topics in activist circles today. The prospect of sacrificing our most cherished labour, social and environmental rights on the altar of free market fundamentalism has inspired an unprecedented resistance movement.

Read more: TTIP: time for action, by John Hilary, Executive Director, War on Want.