The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) says it strongly condemns the sexist remarks and harassment that took place during the recently held WAN-IFRA World News Congress in Portugal.
A comedian made poor taste jokes about “fake breasts and fake news” and the Chairman of the International Press Association of Portugal openly harassed female delegates.
He called his “favourite” female colleagues on stage, made them wear cloaks and called them his “Charlie’s angels” and tried to kiss a colleague who strongly objected.
Further, he claimed a female colleague’s success could only be attributed to the fact that her “father had made her”.
Upon confrontation, the chair stated afterwards that he was sorry that international colleagues were offended, but that in Portugal his remarks were “culturally appropriate” and entirely inoffensive.
Portuguese women journalists and editors however disagreed, saying that they were in fact deeply offended.
Sanef says the remarks and harassment undermine all women and women in leadership in the global media industry and will be taking up these issues with the organisers to discuss a way forward.
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