European & International News

Hot off the presses: where are the women in journalists’ unions?

(Brussels, 11 April 2013) The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have released a report and a survey on the presence or absence of women in journalists’ unions in Europe. The profession as a whole has become an increasingly female one, but union representation and union membership across Europe has not yet fully changed to reflect this reality.

The IFJ/EFJ held a conference in Athens in June 2012, at which a survey was distributed. Gender opportunities will always be an important issue for media organisations, because the media decides what we see as “news”, and shapes our understanding of the world, and vision of both sexes.

Kerstin Klamroth, European Regional Coordination of the IFJ Gender Council contextualised the report as “more and more important in times of crisis, when women journalists often have to defend what they have achieved in former times, and when they are often forced into freelance and low paid jobs. We see these sort of data as essential markers to help understand us where we are, and the path to where we want to go.”

The widespread feminisation of journalism requires an adapted response from journalists’ unions themselves. The extra job precariousness, the unyielding gender pay gap, the struggle to reconcile work and private life and the blocked access to leading roles in the media are some of the core challenges unions need to address.

Key findings include highlighting that though increased young female journalist membership in union membership does exist, this category’s involvement in union leadership positions remains very limited.

To download the report, please click here.

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