From the experience of Round Earth’s female journalists to the stories we report, harassment based on gender is front and center these days.
Courageous female journalists are coming forward to reveal “The Cost of Reporting While Female,” as an article in the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) put it. (The article includes a fascinating timeline, starting in 1829, documenting the harassment of female journalists.)
At Round Earth, we support female journalists through shared experience, understanding and partnership. My colleague Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of the International Women’s Media Foundation put it well: “In such a hostile environment, many women feel they have no choice but to leave their jobs, which dilutes the diversity of perspectives that is so critical to effective reporting.”
It’s almost always female journalists who find stories like this one, which Round Earth recently published in the much-read and respected online news outlet, Middle East Eye.
From the story:
When it comes to public spaces, men in Morocco are raised to think they must constantly assert their masculinity, according to Stephanie Willman Bordat, a founding partner at Mobilising for Rights Associates (MRA) in Rabat. Bordat has worked for more than 17 years with NGOs, women’s advocacy groups and legal teams to promote women’s rights throughout Morocco.
“Men feel entitled to women’s bodies and the performance culture here says they have to verbally express that or else not be manly,” said Bordat.
Click on the photo above for the entire piece, one of the most nuanced and contextual I’ve seen on this subject.
Great stories like this one don’t require a female reporter, of course, but it’s crucial that news outlets be diverse including age, race, gender and socioeconomic status. And that extends to the opinion page. Women’s voices are still lacking in foreign policy op-eds, “a critical forum for influencing public opinion, promoting and affecting policy, and exerting leadership,” according to the CJR. We must do better. For all of our sakes.
With warmest regards,