Even in an advanced age as today, the status quo of gender equality is still a problematic subject. This is especially the case in the media sector. As UNESCO points out, the field of media in the Asia-Pacific region has a significantly low female representation than that of men.
Speaking at a two-day capacity building workshop for women journalists organized by the UNESCO New Delhi office in association with the Sri Lanka Press Institute on February 26-27, 2020, UNESCO New Delhi Director, Eric Fault said that UNESCO considers gender equality in media as a
crucial precondition for media freedom.
Accordingly, the SLPI submitted applications to the Government Information Department seeking information regarding the number of journalists registered with the Government Information Department in the year 2020 on two occasions.
The information request was provided a response stating that persons working in the field of media should be registered with the Government Information Department and meet the following requirements to obtain the Journalist Identity Card;
- Should be employed as a journalist on permanent or contract basis at a recognized media institution for at least 06 months.
- Should be employed continuously for at least one year as a Freelance Journalist at a nationally recognized electronic or print media entity.
3113 journalist identity cards have been thus issued by the Government Information Department in the year 2020. Among the registered identity card holders, 904 are women, details listed below;
- Journalists 835
- Web Journalist 44
- Media Services 25
(This information relates to women journalists registered with the Department of Government Information in 2020. The actual number of employees currently employed may be slightly higher as IDs are not issued to those who work on a training basis.)
As per this information, the representation of women as professional journalists is at 29.03% for the year 2020.