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UNESCO Iraq discusses freedom of expression for Female Journalists and social media activists.


Today, UNESCO Iraq organized a round-table on improving freedom of expression and safety of journalists, especially female journalists and social media activists in Iraq.

Several female journalists, developers, and social media activists were joined by the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, the Bar Association and Civil Society Organizations to discuss the most significant risks and challenges they face regularly in their profession in the absence of enabling regulatory frameworks and legislation.

The discussion agenda was divided into two main axes: first, presenting the political classí actions and practices in defining the rights of women generally; and media journalists in particular and discussing draft laws that todayís women expressed great trepidation over. One such law is the information crimes bill, which has resurfaced and is similar to the draft law on freedom of expression that was read aloud by the House of Representatives yesterday.

The sessionís main discussion points included issues with employment and digital security, cyber-extortion and online harassment, unfair competitions in the private and public sectors due to gender inequality. The participants shared their most notable triumphs and illustrations of the strategies they used to deal with the difficulties in the workplace.

The Bar Associationís attorneys expressed their willingness to take on legal tasks to defend other journalists and activists via the internet. Some of the important recommendations made to UNESCO were; support to the program activities of the women journalists including establishment of monitoring, documentation, networking and coordination among the organizations.

Gender equality is UNESCOís priority and its support to the institutions (administrative, executive and judicial) in Iraq is focused on ensuring the journalism including digital reporting platforms are alive and accessible.

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