About 75% of female journalists face online abuse: UNESCO study

A UNESCO study published in May reported that nearly three-quarters of female journalists say they have been victims of harassment online and for 20% this has transferred into offline attacks.

The study based on a survey of 901 journalists across 125 countries said that violence ranged from abusive language (49%) to threats of physical violence (25%) and sexual assault (18%) including threats to damage their professional reputations, digital security attacks and the use of manipulated images.

While 64% of white female journalists reported online abuse, this rose to 81% for black, 81% for indigenous and 88% for Jewish women. The study also found that stories about gender were most likely to trigger abuse, and lesbian or bisexual women were more likely to experience harassment than heterosexual women.

The report called for stronger legislation against online abuse, an end to attacks against female journalists by politicians and stronger support from employers and internet firms for their female staff.