From: Alice Taylor
Attacks on Female Journalists Increased 102.8% in First Three Months of 2021

The situation for female journalists is getting increasingly worse at a rapid rate.

In March alone, the Coalition for Women in Journalism reported a staggering 111 cases of violence against female media workers around the world. This is an increase of 102.8% in the first three months of 2021, when compared to the same period last year. This is also the highest number of attacks ever registered by the organization.

At least four female journalists were killed during the month. In the US, Lynn Murray the former photo director for Hearst and Conde Naste was one of the ten victims of a shooting in a grocery store in Colorado on 22 March.

In Afghanistan, three women media workers were shot by terrorists in Jalalabad. They worked at Enikass Radio and TV. This is a demonstration of a pattern of fundamentalist groups targeting female journalists in the country, according to the CFWIJ.

A further 10 were physically assaulted or attacked while working. Four women were assaulted and detained by police in Mexico City. They were covering events related to International Women’s Day 2021.

These included Desislava Panayotova in Bulgaria. Her car was vandalized while parked outside her home. This is the second time she has been targeted as in December 2020, her car was sprayed with bullets.

In Turkey, Ceren Iskit was attacked by police while monitoring female journalists’ safety during the women-led protests against the country’s withdrawal from the Instanbul Convention.

A journalist in Montenegro, Jelena Jovanovic was attacked by a man while covering a political event. The incident was broadcast live on television.

Turkey also sentenced journalist Perihan Kaya to 15 months in prison for “spreading terrorrist propaganda”, 18 months in prison for Serpil Unal and Songul Yucel on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organisation”, and a three years and seven months sentence for journalist Muyesser Yildiz. Turkish authorities also arrested two reporters, Ebrar Basyigit and Yagmur Kaya were detained while covering student protests.

In terms of death threats, Turkish journalist Canan Kaya was threatened following her post about the country’s withdrawal from the Instanbul Convention.

Turkish journalists also reported multiple instances of judicial harassment, workplace harassment, and racist attacks.

Huffington Post came under fire for firing 47 journalists, 31 of whom were women. This came after their acquisition by Buzzfeed.

There were reports of organized troll campaigns in France, the US, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and sexual harassment claims in Malta, Australia, France and the UK.