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Technical report

Inside the news: challenges and aspirations of women journalists in Asia and the Pacific

News media Gender differences Women Gender equity Asia-Pacific
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There are more women media professionals than ever in many countries across Asia-Pacific, but they still represent only three out of 10 newsroom staff, often earn less than their male counterparts and are subject to sexual harassment, while struggling to reach decision-making positions.

These are some of the findings in Inside the News: Challenges and Aspirations of Women Journalists in Asia and the Pacific. The report highlights how issues of gender impact the lives and work of journalists in the region, with case studies drawn from the personal accounts of media professionals in Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu.

Nearly 700 journalists from the target countries participated in the study, which drew on surveys of journalists, focus group interviews with representatives of media outlets, as well as interviews with media organisation and national professional associations.

Key findings include:

- Jobs women in the media do: Reporters (30%), Feature writers (16%), Editors (11%), Sub/Copy Editors (10%), Columnists (8%), News Anchors (8%), Producers (7%), Photographers (5%), Design/Layout (2%), Media support (2%), Camera/Sound (1%)

Gender pay gap in Asia-Pacific Media: US$69 (Average monthly salary US$437 for women, US$506 for men).

How can we foster gender equality in media? Women journalists say ‘Having more women in decision making roles’ (25%) and ‘Affirmative employment strategies’ (20%). Male journalists say ’Having more women in the media at every level’ (28%) and ‘More family friendly work conditions’ (22%).

Women at work in the media: 3 out of 10 news staff are women. 23% of women are middle editorial decision makers; 20% are senior editorial decision makers; 18% are media executives.

- 18% of women journalists have experienced sexual harassment at work, while 34% of them have witnessed it.  

Do Women have enough visibility in unions? 48% of the respondents say ‘No’, 23% say ‘Yes’, 25% ‘don’t know’.

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