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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

The Struggles of Women Journalists in Lebanon

Thursday , 29 February 2024
Design: Marc Rechdane

A Psychosocial Harm and a Hampered Career

In Lebanon’s current media world, the journey for women journalists begins with a set of sexist prerequisites and often concludes with a significant toll. These prerequisites demand adherence to specific physical standards, including conventional attractiveness, slimness, and straight hair. However, the true cost of pursuing a career in journalism for women extends beyond mere appearance, encompassing the acceptance and normalization of sexual harassment from recruiters, directors, and colleagues within media institutions. The consequence is a psychological toll and hindered career progression for many women in Lebanese journalism.

This research aims to delve into the professional and personal challenges faced by women journalists in Lebanon, shedding light on their labor rights, such as salaries, promotions, and vacations, as well as the various discomforts they encounter within the field.

With the aim of providing an equitable portrayal of the current status of women journalists in Lebanon, the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) team conducted a series of 70 interviews with women journalists, working in and/or covering Lebanon, in January 2024. Each interview, lasting approximately 40 minutes, utilized a standardized questionnaire. To uphold ethical standards and the principle of “Do No Harm,” interviewees’ identities were kept anonymous. Additionally, precautions were taken during cross-analysis to ensure confidentiality and prevent identity disclosure.


The situation for female journalists in Lebanon reveals a complex landscape marked by numerous challenges and deficiencies within institutions. Despite efforts to address issues such as sexual harassment and unequal treatment, there remains a pervasive lack of accountability and support mechanisms. Female journalists face obstacles such as limited access to paid leave, concerns about confidentiality and safety, and a lack of effective recourse for addressing harassment and abuse of power. While there may be some recognition of the need to improve conditions for female journalists, tangible progress is hindered by systemic issues and entrenched power dynamics. Moving forward, concerted efforts are needed to enact meaningful reforms, promote gender equality, and create a safer and more supportive environment for female journalists in Lebanon.

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