Mariah Holston, Staff Writer

Attacks on female journalists is a worldwide problem. Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and journalist Gauri Lankesh were murdered six weeks apart from each other. Both of these powerful, influential women experienced online attacks before their deaths. Women journalists experience harassment, online and in person, on a daily basis. The International Women’s Media Foundation explains, “70% of women experienced more than one type of harassment, threat, or attack. 52% of women respondents have experienced an offense within the past year. Nearly one-third of female journalists consider leaving the profession due to online attacks and threats.” Journalists, especially those with diverse backgrounds, face belittlement and humiliation for simply trying to state their opinions. These attacks can damage their careers, and most importantly, their mental health. The attackers are trying to instill fear in women journalists in order to silence them. With the increase in social media use, these journalists are put in even more danger and are faced with more harassment than ever. Julie Posetti from The Conversation states, “Misogyny and online violence are a real threat to women’s participation in journalism and public communication in the digital age. It’s both a genuine gender equality struggle and a freedom of expression crisis that needs to be taken very seriously by all actors involved.” Since August 2021, 27 cases of violation against women journalists have been reported by The Coalition For Women. The types of violations include detentions, legal harassment, and physical assaults. The writers Julie Posetti, Jackie Harrison, and Silvio Waisbord from Rappler explain, ¨The insidious problem of online violence against women journalists is increasingly spilling offline, with potentially deadly consequences, a new global survey suggests.” Women experience higher levels of harassment and abuse. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, in at least 40% of cases, journalists who were murdered received threats, online and offline, before they were murdered. In places like Afghanistan, the Taliban purposefully targets women journalists. The people of Afghanistan are concerned for the perversion of freedom of expression and their access to media and information. The Taliban not only target just the journalists, they target their families as well. The journalists are at risk of facing violent consequences and censorship. This is an ongoing problem everywhere. Many people protest for the right of freedom of speech and expression in hopes of change. Just by raising awareness, you are a part of the solution to decrease the amount of hate and dange these women face.