Research suggest that female journalists are suffering greater stress and anxiety during Covid-19

The corona virus pandemic has changed the way the world acted. Semblance of normalcy is gradually returning.

However it is a long way to recovery especially when the second wave of pandemic is almost inevitable.

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) global survey has revealed that Women journalists are suffering greater stress and anxiety than their male counterparts as a result of the this ongoing pandemic.

The survey, carried out by the IFJ, representing 600.000 journalists in 146 countries on 26 – 28 April, gathered 1308 responses from 77 countries, out of which 42% were female.

  • 35% of women and men have shifted their focus to covering Covid-19 related stories.
  • Only a quarter of women as opposed to almost half of men have claimed a loss of revenue
  • 7,4% of women against 6,5% of men have lost their jobs
  • Women suffer  less than men from lack of equipment at home and in the field
  • 19% of women against 27,5% men have claimed difficulties in finding independent sources
  • Almost 10% of both women and men pointed at increased inequalities at work

 Corona has just made things worse:

Many women journalists insist that the situation was already bad before the pandemic outbreak.

My main problem, rather than freedom, is simply being able to place stories at all nowadays” says a female freelance journalist from Argentina.

 “This is a period that brings to light the most serious difficulties of an already precarious and fragile sector” says a Portuguese journalist.

I worry about the mental health of reporters constantly researching something that makes all of us anxious. I also worry about freelance rates being cut when they were already low. Perhaps they won’t recover”, says a UK journalist.

Sofia Branco, President of the Portuguese union of journalists and a member of the IFJ executive board feared that the ongoing impact of COVID will be more severe on women.

While IFJ Gender Council chair Maria Angeles Samperio said “We are in a situation where gender roles have been exacerbated and women journalists are no exception to that. How can you feel ok when the appropriate time for finalising your stories is before 8 o’clock in the morning or after 10 o’clock at night because the rest of your time is allocated to your family responsibilities? “.

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