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Over half of female journalists in Jordan experience digital violence — report

By Maria Weldali , Petra - Apr 24,2024 - Last updated at Apr 24,2024

The Jordanian Network to Combat Digital Violence Against Female Journalists has reports that 54.7 per cent of women engaged in the media industry in the Kingdom have encountered digital violence (Photo by Maria Weldali)

AMMAN — The Jordanian Network to Combat Digital Violence Against Female Journalists has reported that 54.7 per cent of women engaged in the media industry in the Kingdom have encountered digital violence.

The Network on Tuesday hosted a discussion session titled “Towards a National Plan to Combat Digital Violence against Female Journalists in Jordan”. The session addressed digital violence targeted at female journalists in Jordan and identified the legal gaps and necessary mechanisms to tackle the issue at a local level.

The session also underscored the efforts of the government and civil society in combating digital violence against female journalists, noting that 11.5 per cent of women journalists have been subjected to sexual forms of digital violence, including receiving images and symbols with sexual implications.

Director of the human rights unit in the prime minister’s office, Khalil Abdallat, emphasised the Kingdom’s leadership in safeguarding digital protection amidst the ongoing global technological advancements, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Abdallat also highlighted the government’s commitment to safeguarding the rights of journalists, regardless of gender, and ensuring a safe environment for their professional endeavours, both in physical and digital spheres. 

The director also called for collaborative action to tackle the challenges encountered by female journalists in the digital sphere, stressing their pivotal role in disseminating reliable information and promoting public dialogue, underscoring the pivotal role of the press in upholding democracy and advocating for human rights, acknowledging the government’s legal and policy endeavours directed towards preserving press freedom and guaranteeing journalist safety.

Speaking with The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the session, Coordinator of the Network to Combat Digital Violence Against Female Journalists Rania  Sarayrah said that “female journalists in Jordan face additional challenges and barriers as they operate in a volatile media environment…”

She also emphasised that digital violence against female journalists includes various forms of intimidation and disinformation, inflicted because of their gender, adding that digital protection and security should be integral components of journalistic training and professional activities.

She also said that the government, non-governmental organisations, news outlets, and tech companies must cooperate in safeguarding journalists from any form of violence in the digital space.

A study conducted by the network revealed that 31 per cent of digital violence cases occurred on Facebook, 22.5 per cent on Instagram, 14.2 per cent on WhatsApp, and 9.5 per cent on X platform.

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