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Date:2 September 2012
Author: Nobel Women's Initiative
Women journalists face gender-specific risk
Voice of Freedom :Journalists often play a key role in disseminating information about human rights. As such, journalists are often threatened, attacked, and killed in an attempt to silence their voice.
Women journalists and journalists who work to defend women's human rights are particularly vulnerable and at risk because of their identity and the nature of work that they do. Women journalists, such as "Dina Meza" in Honduras, receive specific threats of sexual violence because it points to the view that women are objects for manipulation.
Sexual violence, threats and attacks against female journalists are rarely talked about. In her special report for the Committee to Protect Journalists, Lauren Wolfe interviews a women journalist who explains why she chose to not to talk about it: "It's embarrassing, and you feel like an idiot saying anything, especially when you are reporting on much, much greater horrors".
In her fourth report to the Human Rights Council, Margaret Sekaggya, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, addresses the specific risks and challenges faced by journalists. Journalists are considered human rights defenders when their work promotes the protection of human rights. As such, the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders provides a framework to protect the monitoring and advocacy functions of journalists.
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