Gender equality in Spanish journalism must originate with the professionals

Credit:  Irene Muñoz

Gender equality is gradually progressing in Spanish journalism with the formation of several key groups and initiatives.  But this article, edited by Aida Peláez and first written by Patricia Chico Gonzalez for La Huella Digital, outlines how journalists themselves must lead the way to more complete eradication of gender inequality.

Gender equality in the journalism profession is a concern shared by the professionals of the media, their representatives and society in general. The situation of women journalists both inside and outside of the newsrooms, and the pursuit of equal treatment of them, has become one of the goals for achieving gender equality; Spain is one of the countries committed to this purpose. Beyond the national media companies who are focused on the crisis in the sector and forgetting their workers, professionals and their representatives seek a way to bring gender equality to the media.

The Spanish Federation of Journalists (FAPE) has joined the International Federation of Journalists showing their concern about the increase in violence against women journalists. As reported by the student newspaper La Huella Digital, FAPE has joined a global protest to stop these criminals and sexist attitudes against woman journalists that only want censorship and seek to silence the professionals.

Both, the Spanish and International Journalism associations has defined this campaign that they have started as “a response to the unprecedented number of women journalists threatened, attacked, harassed, raped or killed in the exercise of their profession.” The two organizations have also stressed the importance of maintaining constant attention of the situation of women journalists, as well as the need to unite all journalists and their organizations demanding an end to the impunity with which these attacks are committed.

Following this same purpose – to seek equality in the journalistic profession – some Spanish cities have taken the initiative and created their own associations of women journalists, such as Seville. Since 2008, as part of the press association of that city, nine women are working on this organization to represent all women journalists and promote equality in the profession.

The association has received different awards at national and regional level in recognition of their work in defence of women’s rights and equality. One of its initiatives that got better acceptance and recognition has been the Census of Woman Experts. That tool was born as an answer to the absence of equal representation of male and female experts in the media – men representing 80% in this field.

The census is a database that contains the details of almost 300 women and it can be consulted by any journalist, who can then contact whichever specialists they need. The Sevilla Woman Journalist association has created this tool to facilitate access to specialized women journalists, to give greater visibility to the minority of women specialists working in the media.

Looking at the examples of the National Press Association and the woman journalist group in Sevilla it seems appropriate to accept that, at least in the case of Spain, beyond the support of society and government agencies, it is necessary that journalism professionals themsevles demand gender equality.

It is the duty of communication professionals to look for gender equality in society and start this equality in our own work.

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Translated and edited for Pandeia by Aida Peláez

Article written by Patricia Chico Gonzalez and first published by La Huella Digital

Photo credit: Irene Muñoz

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