Female journalists in Japan join forces to fight sexual harassment

Yoshiko Hayashi, right, a freelancer who formerly worked at the mass-circulation Asahi Shimbun, said it was now ‘the time to eradicate sexual harassment and any other human rights infringement.’ (AFP)
Updated 15 May 2018
0

Female journalists in Japan join forces to fight sexual harassment

  • “Many women in journalism felt it difficult to raise their voice out of embarrassment and fears that it would destroy the relationship with their contacts”
  • Shinzo Abe has made increasing female participation in the workforce a key plank of his economic policies, as Japan struggles with a labor shortage
TOKYO: Female journalists in Japan said Tuesday they were teaming up to fight sexual harassment in the media, believed to be widespread in a country where the #MeToo movement has been slow to take off.
A total of 86 women journalists have come together to form the Women in Media Network Japan (WiMN) to expose harassment and abuse, said Yoshiko Hayashi, a freelancer who formerly worked at the mass-circulation Asahi Shimbun.
“Unfortunately, discrimination against women and sexual harassment still exist among the people and entities we cover,” she said, reading a statement from the group on its establishment.
“Many women in journalism felt it difficult to raise their voice out of embarrassment and fears that it would destroy the relationship with their contacts,” she added.
“We were the people whose voices were unheard.”
The issue hit the headlines recently after the finance ministry admitted its top bureaucrat harassed a female reporter in an incident believed to be the tip of iceberg.
The reporter, with Japan’s TV Asahi, blew the whistle and Hayashi said the group had been encouraged by her refusal to suffer in silence.
“We are resolved that now is the time to eradicate sexual harassment and any other human rights infringement,” Hayashi said.
The ministry came under fire for its handling of the allegations against Junichi Fukuda, who stepped down over the reporter’s claim but continues to deny wrongdoing.
His retirement package was eventually reduced as a punishment, but when reports of Fukuda’s alleged misconduct first emerged in a weekly magazine, Finance Minister Taro Aso appeared to dismiss them, saying he had discussed the issue with his top bureaucrat and had no plans to investigate.
An uproar over the claims ensued, and the ministry was forced to backtrack, though it earned additional criticism for calling on affected women to come forward to its lawyers.
TV Asahi, one of the nation’s major networks, publicly acknowledged one of its reporters was the victim and that her boss had failed to act when she initially complained about the harassment.
Aso has voiced his concern over “Fukuda’s human rights” in the midst of accusations and said there is no such criminal charge as sexual harassment.
He has also said that the bureaucrat fell victim to a “honey trap” by the female reporter though he later retracted the remark.
The scandal and the ministry’s perceived mishandling of the allegations have provoked a public outcry leading some to suggest the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment was finally impacting Japan.
It has also provided an additional headache for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose government is already under fire over two cronyism scandals, one of which involves the scrubbing of documents by the finance ministry.
Abe has made increasing female participation in the workforce a key plank of his economic policies, as Japan struggles with a labor shortage.


New warning to WhatsApp users after hackers strike

CITC is trying to raise awareness regarding fraudulent messages that come via WhatsApp.
Updated 22 May 2018
0

New warning to WhatsApp users after hackers strike

JEDDAH: Saudi users of the popular messaging platform WhatsApp have been warned to be on their guard against hackers after a spate of cyberattacks.
“Users are advised to enable two-step verification to protect their accounts from any digital breakthroughs,” the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) said.
“Also do not click on any link until you have verified the source of the link, and make sure you do not disclose your personal information and phone number to any untrusted sites.”
A large number of WhatsApp users in Saudi Arabia have recently had their accounts hacked, and in some cases have suffered financial losses as a result. “CITC tweeted this warning to raise awareness regarding many fraudulent messages through WhatsApp,” spokesman Adel Abu Haimed told Arab News.
Attached to the CITC tweet was an infograph to clarify to users how to enable two-step verification.
Many people shared their thoughts on social media about the subject.

 

Fahad @Fah2dofficial tweeted: “OMG I have a lot of important information on my WhatsApp I better get my account secured.”
Abu Hatem @abuhatem1386 said: I am so done with hacking.”
To enable two-step verification and keep your account safe, open WhatsApp Settings then select Account then two-step verification then select Enable then enter a six-digit PIN.
Upon enabling this feature, you can also optionally enter your email address. This email address will allow WhatsApp to send you a link via email to disable two-step verification in case you ever forget your six-digit PIN, and also to help safeguard your account.

Decoder

WhatsApp verification process

Two-step verification is an optional feature that adds more security to your account. When you have two-step verification enabled, any attempt to verify your phone number on WhatsApp must be accompanied by the six-digit PIN that you created using this feature.