Switzerland: women journalists on strike for better working conditions

  • 14 Jun 2023

The NUJ joins the IFJ and EFJ in supporting women in the media in Switzerland striking for equal pay, protection against harassment and no sexism, no racism and more diversity in the industry.

"No women, no news – more women, more news".

This is the slogan of  Swiss journalists' unions taking to the streets as they call for:

  • Better protection against harassment
  • Equal pay
  • Reconciliation between work, family and mental health
  • Women in positions of responsibility
  • No sexism, no racism and more diversity in the media

The figures show that in Swiss newsrooms women journalists earn less than their male colleagues, men continue to be in charge of certain news, women still experience more harassment in the workplace, in the field and on the internet, and the profession is still seen by many as incompatible with the desire to start a family - with the result that many women are leaving for other professions. 

For Melina Schröter, regional secretary of the media sector at Syndicom, the recent advances are not enough:

"Since 2019, the date of the previous major feminist strike, a few lines have moved in the Swiss media. Many female media professionals have publicly denounced the harassment, macho culture and mobbing that are rife in editorial departments. There have been a few developments, such as more women in senior positions, external structures for reporting cases of harassment in certain media, and the more frequent use of the term feminicide rather than crime of passion. Despite these modest advances, great strides towards greater equality still need to be made."

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its gender council have given full support to their Swiss colleagues. In a statement issued on 13 June, the IFJ Gender Council expressed alarm at the decline in women's rights around the world and reiterated the urgent need to "take concrete steps to end sexism and racism". The president of the council, María Ángeles Samperio, said: "Without equality between men and women, there can be no justice or democracy. This also applies to the situation of women journalists, who all too often still work in more precarious conditions than men. We need to change this dynamic, not only to strengthen equality in the newsrooms but also to offer a more inclusive media discourse in favour of women and free of racism."

The European Federation of Journalists (FEJ) and its Expert Group on Gender and Diversity (GENDEG) supported all the striking journalists in their fight for equality:

“In 2023 we can no longer accept gender inequalities in newsrooms. We stand up with Swiss women journalists to fight for their rights and advance towards real equality in the media. On 14 June, we call on all European journalists to send support on social media to their Swiss colleagues,” said Elena Tarifa, the chair of GENDEG. 


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