This statement was originally published on nusoj.org on March 8, 2017.
The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) joins the global community, particularly the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), on International Women’s Day to celebrate the leadership and contribution of thousands of women journalists around the world who strive for women’s equality and empowerment through their daily journalism work.
NUSOJ Secretary for Gender Equality, Fadumo Yusuf Said (Tahadar), stated that “voices of women journalists are all too often silent in the media. Numerous cases of intimidation, sexual harassment, physical attacks and even murder of women journalists have been reported and we cannot tolerate that those cases are perpetrated in total impunity”.
The national union reaffirms the importance of gender equality and equity as a key component of the right to media freedom, justice and called on media owners and public authorities to confront violence and abuses against female journalists by providing a safe working environment for women in the media.
“Women journalists must be heard and must be able to receive information on issues that affect them and the wider society like male journalists. Women journalists must be allowed and encouraged to articulate their views and tell their stores. They must be able to engage freely in their work, without fear of censorship, harassment or violence,” asserted Fadumo Tahadar.
NUSOJ calls on media houses to adopt specific policies to fight against sexual harassment and bullying and accordingly set up internal committees to ensure implementation in both letter and spirit, adopt proper and severe sanctions against perpetrators of acts of violence in the newsrooms and provide specific safety tips for women journalists on how to handle physical attacks and threats when working in the field.