Conference on Women in Media and Safety Challenges held in Sarajevo

November 10, 2019 3:00 PM

 

The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) organized a panel discussion entitled: Women in Media — Safety Challenges and Ways Forward on 8 November 2019 in Sarajevo. The event was organized in co-operation with the Balkan Investigative Regional Reporting Network (BIRN Hub).

The discussion gathered more than 70 journalists and media professionals, representatives of judiciary, international community and civil society to discuss media freedom and the safety of female journalists in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In recent years, we have witnessed an increase in hate speech, hateful comments and online threats targeting women journalists all around the world, including in this country. We know that those who are brave enough to report on contentious issues, such as corruption, war crimes and transitional justice, often find their safety is at risk,” said Kathleen Kavalec, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH. “This event is one of the steps are taking to support and encourage all female journalists, writers, and freelancers to publically raise their voice against the violence they face.”

The aim of the event was to explore the issue of existing legal mechanisms and their effectiveness in the protection of journalists. Serving as a platform for the exchange of personal experiences, the panel discussion contributed to bringing public attention to this important issue.

Hatidža Gušić, Programme Manager for Media Development at BIRN Hub, emphasized that women in the media face discrimination not only due to the nature of the work they do, but are also subjected to gender-based violence, sexual harassment, especially on the Internet. “We must work to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable for the violence. They should know that they can no longer think their anonymity would shield them from accountability.”

The panel discussion is a part of the OSCE Mission to BiH wider efforts in addressing the challenges related to media freedom and freedom of expression in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

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