Monday, February 04, 2008

Female reporters and rape

Women's eNews has a fantastic report about female reporters and the sexual abuse and violence that they experience when covering wars. For a snippet, see below, but please go read the whole thing.

Matloff's article grew out of a survey of 29 female war correspondents published in 2005 by the International News Safety Institute, a Brussels-based group that works on media safety and persecution issues. More than half, according to the survey, anonymously reported sexual harassment on the job and two said they had experienced sexual abuse.

Matloff reached out to these survey respondents through the institute. She found that female reporters fear being pulled off an assignment and many keep their violations secret. Editors, who are most often male, tend to be unaware of the dangers women face because of this concealment, which also makes it hard to judge how often it occurs. Of the dozen assaults she knew of via the survey and her own experience, "eight involved forced intercourse."

"Rape is something that they will talk about amongst themselves," Matloff said about female journalists. "You don't want to show vulnerability, because your bosses would question whether you are up to it."

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