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Jordanian network takes stand against online violence towards female journalists

By Maria Weldali - Nov 25,2023 - Last updated at Nov 25,2023

The Network for Combating Digital Violence Against Female Journalists in Jordan, has joined the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

AMMAN — The Network for Combating Digital Violence Against Female Journalists in Jordan, has joined the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence — a global movement which starts on 25 November and runs until 10 December 2023 — urging to intensify efforts to end the growing trends in online violence and harassment against women in journalism.

The network kicked off its latest campaign to call for a secure and resilient digital environment where journalists and media professionals can carry out their reporting effectively.

Nearly 55 per cent of journalists and media workers surveyed by the network experienced online harassment at least once, according to a statement from the Network for Combating Digital Violence Against Female Journalists in Jordan shared with The Jordan Times.

“The campaign will last for two weeks and is aimed to cast light on the torrent of online abuse confronting women journalists… and seeks to create effective structures for dialogue,” Rania Al Sarayrah, a Jordanian journalist who is one of the founding members of the network, told The Jordan Times.

From hate speech to insults and threats, women in journalism across the world and in Jordan, also face privacy breaches and threats of physical harm, receive an overwhelming amount of gendered defamation via social media, Sarayrah added.

Concerning online harassment, she said that “female journalists and media professionals are more vulnerable to online harassment due to their vital role in society, as well as existing harmful gender norms and inequalities”.

Online violence which is increasingly spilling offline, is often an intent to force women journalists into giving up their jobs that expose untold stories, she noted.

Women journalists in Jordan face additional constraints due to the volatile media environment, according to the network. Pointing that raising awareness and educating journalists on online harassment is crucial. 

Speaking out against online harassment, violent rhetoric and intimidation, journalist Amal Ghawanmeh said that “A safe digital environment for women journalists is a legal duty on all official authorities”. 

Heba Al Kayed, a journalist and a member of the network, said in a statement sent to The Jordan Times, that women in journalism whether in Jordan or elsewhere, have the right to work in a safe environment that is free of threats.

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