Participants at the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Sexual harassment has been one of the biggest problems facing female journalists, but adequate attention has yet to be paid to the building of policies and mechanism to deal with the issue, heard a conference in gender equality in journalism held in Hanoi on May 22.

Jaldeep Katwala, Director for the Southeast Asia region of the FOJO Media Institute cited a survey jointly conducted by the institute and the Centre for Media and Development in September 2017 that the ratio of harassment against female journalists was 27 percent.

However, the journalists themselves have different understanding about acts that constitute sexual harassment, he said, adding that the majority of media agencies so far have no policy or training on how to prevent harassments.

Over the past years, Vietnam has made numerous efforts to ensure gender equality. However, the issue remains high on the national agenda and draws special attention of the society.

Participants at the event held that journalism has an important role in improving public awareness of gender equality.

They also highlighted female journalists’ role in protecting the interest and equality of women.

Nguyen Thi Tam, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the VietnamPlus e-newspaper of the Vietnam News Agency underscored the need for the media to make proper coverage on gender equality to avoid inadvertently promoting erroneous views and hurting women.

The Vietnam News Agency currently has over 3,000 staff, over 50 percent of whom are women, she noted, adding that recently, the agency has had a female Deputy General Director.

Meanwhile, Tran Le Thuy, Director of the Centre for Media and Development said that currently, female journalists have faced lesser difficulties in getting a job in journalism sector. But harassment against both male and female journalists is still an obstacle in their job, harming both their mental and physical health.

In the coming time, the centre will continue with efforts to support journalists in ensuring gender equality in media agencies, while eliminating violence and harassment against journalists.-VNA