Security for female journalists

For female journalists, extra precautions are sadly recommended when reporting on conflict. For instance:

  • Take self-defence training. Self-defence weapons can easily be taken and used against you or confiscated by security forces. Prioritise investment in physical self-defence skills and maybe a personal alarm.
  • Crowds can be especially dangerous for sexual violence. Always make sure that you are constantly aware of your surroundings/if anyone is watching or following you. Always have a plan of escape and how to exit the area if need be.
  • Try never to work alone and have a “bodyguard” figure with you, including male colleagues.
  • Wearing extra layers might help buy you some time to get away from assaulters.

Broader information on safety of women journalists

A gender-sensitive approach is necessary as women often risk sexual assault, whether in the form of a targeted sexual violation or the sexual abuse of journalists in detention or captivity. Furthermore, many of these crimes are not reported as a result of powerful cultural and professional stigmas.

Urgent Action Fund and International Women’s Media Foundation provide emergency support for female media professionals.