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New WAN-IFRA research on sexual harassment in the media workplace in Southeast Asia

WAN-IFRA Women in News (WIN) and City, University of London, are now entering the second phase of a major research study into sexual harassment in the media workplace.

New WAN-IFRA research on sexual harassment in the media workplace in Southeast Asia
Jen Teo: “In Asia, many deny that sexual harassment is a problem. But we know it remains pervasive and is therefore underreported.” Photograph: Mihai Surdu on Unsplash.

In this second phase, the survey will look at the extent of this problem in select Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

This phase of the research will run from November 2020 until March 2021, following an initial phase which collected responses from Africa, specifically Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

An initial study conducted by WIN in 2018 identified a significant gap in the available data on sexual harassment in media, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab Region and Southeast Asia. This new study will look specifically at those regions to better understand the extent of sexual harassment in the media industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab Region and Southeast Asia. The research will contribute to global data on sexual harassment in the media industry, by filling these regional data gaps; and enable informed, evidence-based responses to sexual harassment in the media industry.

The research will be a combination of a survey of media professionals as well as interviews with media executives. The survey is targeted at media professionals regardless of their gender, hierarchy or whether they have witnessed or experienced sexual harassment. News media organisations, regional and national media associations, and industry partners will contribute to the survey. The interviews will be conducted with media executives focusing on their perceptions about the problem of sexual harassment. Findings will be anonymised, and no individual or organisation will be named.

“We are pleased to partner with WIN to address the systemic issue of sexual harassment in the news industry. This is an international crisis that occurs in newsrooms around the world. Having the opportunity to record the personal experiences of news personnel will help us support news organisations tremendously,” said Lindsey Blumell, City, University of London.

“In Asia, many deny that sexual harassment is a problem. But we know it remains pervasive and is therefore underreported. This research will bring out the figures and demonstrate the need for strong workplace policies prohibiting sexual harassment at work,” said Jen Teo, Director, Southeast Asia, Women in News.

“Whatever the form, sexual harassment undoubtedly upsets the victim and can cause emotional harm, and physical and psychological trauma. It also causes a decline in work productivity and job satisfaction. It’s therefore in the interest of individuals and of businesses to address this issue directly in their workplace,” continued Teo.

Participants wishing to participate in the Southeast Asia portion of the study and are currently working in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines or Vietnam can do so by clicking at either ONE of the language survey links below:

For more information on the study or to register interest in participating in the Arab Region survey visit: womeninnews.org/post/149