As part of the joint exhibition by the War Museum and the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine titled "Shot Freedom of Speech", a roundtable discussion was held on the topic "Being a Female Journalist in Ukraine: Overcoming Barriers and Stereotypes."
In the 21st century, women still have to overcome gender biases and carve out their place in the profession. In the conditions of war, the situation has become even more challenging.
The National Union of Journalists closely monitors the fate of their colleagues who find themselves in the midst of the conflict. Analyzing reports, volunteers have noted that being a female journalist during this time is particularly perilous. Female journalists face not only professional risks but also the challenge of maintaining the integrity of their newsrooms, continuing their professional work despite mortal threats, and ensuring the well-being of their families in extreme circumstances. Visitors were introduced to the stories of female journalists who, despite difficulties and danger, remained loyal to their profession and continued to document and broadcast the truth.
Lidia Tarash from Volnovakha, Svitlana Zalizetska from Melitopol, and Olena Kalyta from Mariupol are examples of women who did not collaborate with invaders, managed to escape occupation, and now work in the field of information, sharing their experiences and the realities of this war.
Human rights defender Lyudmyla Huseinova shared not only her experience of spending three years in a Donetsk prison for her social media publications but also the mechanisms through which the international community has been influencing the improvement of conditions for detainees and their release. For example, after a year of publicizing the typical regime of mixed detention for political and criminal offenders in Donetsk to increase pressure on "political" prisoners, they are now held separately, thanks to an information campaign supported by international partners.
Aliona Danilova, the founder of the Ukrainian Women’s Battalion that brought together numerous female journalists, talked about her volunteer experience. Besides assisting the armed forces, the battalion collects evidence of crimes committed by russians against women. She emphasized, "Every voice matters, so don’t be indifferent. Every social media post you make should carry a powerful message".
Valeriya Parkhomenko informed event attendees that the war has not erased gender inequality. The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine is running a campaign to inform about gender equality issues, including an anonymous survey. The survey results will be published in November.
You can explore the stories of courageous journalists risking their lives to report the truth in the exhibition "Shot Freedom of Speech" at the Exhibition Center of the War Museum.