"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers," says article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
However, that is not what is happening. For some time now, a large part of women journalists and communicators have been attacked and threatened by social networks, emails and direct messages to cell phones. This digital violence provokes fear, self-censorship and silence.
Recent studies by UN Women and UNESCO, including interviews with journalists from more than one hundred countries, say most were attacked online because of their journalistic activity, activism and womanhood.
"The attacks are systematic through hate speech, violent, sexist, misogynist and racist messages; are victims of fake news; their profiles are monitored; and suffered attempts, some successful, of hacking. Half also experienced violence in the offline world, which shows that online violence is part of a continuum of violence and that violence in digital environments, far from being limited to the virtual plane, is real and concrete," says a statement released by UNICEF, UNFPA, UNESCO and UN Women on June 7. Day of journalists.
"The threat of physical harm they receive most is rape and death, and almost all of them fear for their physical safety. Journalists are exposed to this form of violence mainly because they are women with a public voice. And the goal is one: to silence them," say the United Nations agencies.
According to the data of the studies, as a result of the aggressions, 80% omit to comment on certain topics in networks and 40% self-censor: "A quarter of women victims of violence lose their job or do not renew their contract and half are afraid of losing it. There are professionals who retired from journalism and others who had to go into exile."
Why is the goal to silence us? Because we talk about gender equality, social justice and human rights.
I share one of the last messages that came to me to the work mail: "Destructive and sexually resentful female, you incomplete in your relationship with men, full of hatred, will disappear."