On the journey to gender equality, the role of women in media is crucial. In democratic societies, journalists ensure that reliable information is broadcast to the public and that they report on human rights abuses. To ensure that gender-based violations come to light, and to provide a parity of gender perspectives and voices in the content that we read, hear, and watch, women must be involved in both the content creation and creative control of media.
For women journalists to do their jobs well, and without fear, their right to freedom of expression must be protected by the state. All too often, critical voices are silenced by government authorities determined to conceal dissent.
It is crucial that women are allowed to safely conduct their work in the media, that their work is published without censorship, that they face no backlash as a result of their gender, and that they have creative control over the content that is broadcast to the public.
A media without women is only half the story. Women journalists must be respected, protected, and championed for a free press to flourish and thrive.
The author is the executive director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and chairperson of the Board of Trustees of SEAPA. She’s a well-known champion of human rights in Cambodia.