IGF 2019 Pre-Event #16
Tackling Online Harassment of Women Journalists

International Alumni Center gGmbH


As a part of a larger UNESCO initiative on countering gender-based harassment and threats against journalists, the International Alumni Center together with the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) and UNESCO, are convening a moderated brainstorming session on Tackling the Safety of Women Journalists Online at the 2019 Internet Governance Forum. This workshop will be the third session in a series of consultation sessions organized by UNESCO and its partners on this topic, after a kick-off session in February 2019 at the OSCE in Vienna, and a follow-up meeting at the World Press Freedom Day global celebration in Addis Ababa in May 2019.

The session will have the goal of engaging participants of different backgrounds (journalism, internet governance, academia, NGOs, government and international organization) in a discussion on best practices to counter online harassment of women journalists. Online threats, violence and harassment against women journalists are a growing problem. Such attacks hamper freedom of expression online; can lead to self-censorship and in some cases, online violence triggers offline attacks.

The results of this discussion will contribute to a UNESCO study on countering online harassment of women journalists. The study, launched in 2019, examines gender-based harassment and threats against journalists online. With a global scope and an intersectional perspective, it strives to develop concrete recommendations on how to combat online harassment. The recommendations will be targeted at different stakeholder groups such as governments, media organizations, judiciary, NGOs and journalists.
Through the participatory format, multi-stakeholder engagement is encouraged, delivering specific feedback on the research. The results of the discussion will be taken into account in the final draft of the publication.
The theme of the session is directly linked to IGF 2019 Theme III “Security, Safety, Stability & Resilience” and to SDG’s 5 (Gender Equality) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).