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Over half of female journalists in Jordan experience digital violence, says survey

By Maria Weldali - Dec 27,2022 - Last updated at Dec 27,2022

AMMAN — Over half of female journalists in Jordan have experienced digital violence, a recent Salam@ survey revealed.

Speaking with The Jordan Times, Salam@ national coordinator Lina Momani said that significant numbers of women are subjected to violence in the private sphere, but female journalists and other media representatives, due to the nature of their work, are at risk of abuse online.

“Journalism is an influential profession, and when women are involved, the digital backlash is intense,” she said.

The survey, which was officially released in November, featured the participation of 201 female journalists. 

Salam@ for women and youth in the MENA region, a multi-year programme implemented by the Canadian think tank SecDev, seeks to change perceptions and behaviours as well as increase awareness of digital safety. 

In November, the Salam@ programme, in partnership with the Information and Research Centre of the King Hussein Foundation (IRC-KHF), launched the first “Jordanian Network to Combat Digital Violence Against Female Journalists”.

This network involves a vast number of female journalists who will be part of continuous dialogues and meetings aimed to address gender-based digital violence against female journalists.

Furthermore, the survey discusses the different forms of digital violence female journalists in Jordan experience. The first of which is hate speech, which includes attacking a journalist’s family, religion and background. Digital violence also encompasses blackmail and online sexual abuse.

According to the survey, most female journalists in Jordan usually avoid asking for assistance and remain silent because they can end up being blamed for their own digital abuse.  

“Some social norms and standards create complex and almost intractable barriers for female journalists,” the survey said. 

The survey also showed that only 8 per cent of the respondents have informed their journalistic institution about the digital violence that they have experienced. 

“Digital violence is difficult to prevent, and therefore brings about various challenges to the activities of media representatives,” according to the survey. 

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