In Covid 19 situation, 100 women journalists have lost their jobs in Bangladesh

Farhana Nila : In covid 19 situations, 100 women journalists have been fired in Bangladesh. In addition, there are about 50 women journalist have who don’t to say anything about there dismissal. And many have been forced to resign. These women journalists are suffering, who were suddenly fired in this unfavorable situation.

In Covid 19 situation, 100 women journalists have lost their jobs in Bangladesh

One woman journalist, who did not want to be named, worked at a private TV channel. She lost her job when she was pregnant. At that time, the situation in Covid 19 had reached a critical stage. She  said, “I have been working in this organization for 8 years. Suddenly one day the administration says, you don’t have these job. I asked her- why? administration said-“Our organization is at a loss”.

This women journalist said with tears in her eyes, remembering the day, `that time I was pregnant. My parents are old. The family was moving in my sense; economically I pass that miserable time while pregnant. I pray that such bad times do not come again in anyone’s life.’

One woman journalist, who did not want to be named,

Maria Salam, she was recently fired from an English print media. She said, `Women journalists are working on a par with men equally risking their lives due to COVID 19 to report from the frontlines, and yet, the ‘journalist retrenchment policy’ of the media has disproportionately affected the women workers as they are the first ones being dismissed. The situation of journalists working in the rural areas, especially women, are even more deplorable. Several media houses have stopped the salaries and allowances of the journalists working outside the capital. Women are economically dependent on men in the family, this is the reason why women journalists are dismissed. But a part of the family runs on the finances of the working woman, no one cares these.


The following is a list of female journalists who were fired from November 2019 to December 2020. Information provided by the `South Asia Article 19’ & the Social Media-Based Volunteer Group of `Our  Media & our right’ :

Media Number of dismissed female journalists in Bangladesh
G TV 2
Dipto TV 3
Channel 9 9
S A TV 4
N TV 2
Banglavishon 1
71 TV 2
ATN Bangla 3
Mohona TV 4
Radio Dhoni 1
Cpital F M 1
Alokito Bangladesh 2
SharaBangla. 1
Daily Kaler Kantha 3
Daily Dinkal 2
Daily Shamokal 2
Daily Janakantha 1
Daily Manobkantha 4
Lal Shobujer Kotha 1
Daily Chattagrame protidin 2
Daily Purbo Pashchim 2
Share Biz 1
Flash TV 24 1
Jalasshari. com 1
Banglar Chokh.com 1


The list for 2021 is under construction


Ahmed Fayez, chief editor of Our Media Our Rights and a journalist with New Age magazine said, `so far, aboutOne woman journalist, who did not want to be named, 4,000 news media workers have lost their jobs and suffered various losses. At least 1,200 have been directly fired and laid off. Of these, about 100 women journalists have been sacked across the country. In addition, there are about 50 women journalist have who, out of shame and fear, do not want to open their mouths in the event of dismissal. And many have been forced to resign. Salaries have been reduced in many organizations. Most of the companies did not give festival allowance to the employees. At this time, women workers have also suffered more adversity than at any other time. They have worked with more pressure for fear of losing their jobs. Most companies do not provide virus protection. So far, 3 women journalists have died due to covid 19.’

Not only during the epidemic, women journalists in Bangladesh media are always deprived in many ways:

One woman journalist, who did not want to be named,President of the Bangladesh Women Journalists Centre Naismun Ara Haque Minu said, `The presence of women in the media is increasing little by little in Bangladesh. But his statistics are also negligible compared to men. There are no statistics on the total number of women journalists. However, the number of women working in newspapers, online and television is one thousand.





The situation of women journalists in Bangladesh can be understood through the journalist organizations:

Name of journalist organizations


Number of members Male journalist Women journalist
National Press club 1212 1131 81
Dhaka Journalist Union 3161 2861 300
Dhaka Reporters Unity 1845 1700 145
Bangladesh Women Journalists Centre 500   500


Naismun Ara Haque Minu said ` Even from this small number, women journalists are being fired on various pretexts. A big blow came to them at this time of the covid 19 situation.

For a number of reasons, media houses in Bangladesh are still not safe for women. Such as:

  • Those who are working in the media industry, most of them are men. As a result, girls are rarely seen at the policy-making stage.
  • Somewhere, women are being sexually abused by their colleagues.
  • Women’s salaries are lower than men’s
  • Some organizations do not want to give six months maternity leave.
  • There are some organizations that do not employ female journalists
  • Vehicle facilities are not provided during night duty

Journalist Nazneen Lucky, who was recently fired, said about this,‘‘ Whenever I get an achievement or a fellowship, my male colleagues start looking at me with disdain. The male editor also stopped the important news of my fellowship without any couse. When I went to protest about all this, The news editor demoted me as a desk reporter.

Reluctant to disclose name, a woman journalist of an established private TV channel. She said, I have been working in this organization for a long time as a senior reporter. Suddenly during last year’s in Covid 19 situation news room told me, you have to do work in desk. You will get half the salary for this post. If you don’t want to do it, you have to resign. In such an unfavorable situation, I looked at the faces of my two children and agreed to work for half the salary. Even then I am being pressured in various ways to resign on my own initiative.

How much satisfied professional journalists are with their job

A Research evaluation, Published by Press Institute of Bangladesh 2017 , according to the study, 18 percent think that there is concern about the safety of women in the workplace. 50 % percent of respondents said that women are neglected in the workplace. 50% percent reported disrespectful behavior from male colleagues. 17% reported that they had been sexually harassed in the workplace at various times. 10 percent of women journalists say they do not get maternity leave in the current workplace

In general, women journalists in the country are discriminated against in terms of salary and allowances; FaruqOne woman journalist, who did not want to be named, Faisel

Faruq Faisel, Regional Director of Bangladesh & South Asia article 19. He said, `in our Bangladesh, women journalist are exploited and neglected. In normal times, women journalists of the country are discriminated against in terms of salary and allowances. In the Corona epidemic, it has increased to 100%.At this time 96% of women media workers are going through economic problems. The media owners have made more use of that opportunity during the Corona period. The big media houses have reduced the salaries of women workers. Some media houses have sent many women journalists on unpaid leave.’



Shakil Ahmed, Member Secretary of BJC and Head of News of Ekattar TV. He said `there is a bad culture in the media of Bangladesh is that, many institution are not given maternity leave to women journalists. Many women are dismissed during maternity leave. He said, many companies say that they are losing business. For these reason they are dismissing journalists. Their information is not accurate. Because in lockdown, everyone is watching the news from home. People are spending time watching TV. In that case, the media is not in a bad situation at all. So this is not the right reason to dismiss a journalist. If we look at the last one year, the whole news section of a TV channel has been shut down. At least 120 workers have been laid off from that Tv channel. Manpower has been sacked from nine more TV channels. And a large part of it is women. Compared to the froth of the television industry in the last two decades, the standard of professionalism in its management is zero. Channel owners are not held accountable for violating workers’ rights. She further added that while the pioneers of journalism in Bangladesh have been able to incite the love of the youth towards this profession, they failed to establish job security and protection in this profession.”


What could be the solution to unfairly dismissing women journalists?  

Naismun Ara Haque Minu demanded `that a Sexual Harassment Prevention Cell should be set up in every media house to fully implement the High court’s order to stop sexual harassment in the workplace.’

According to Faruq Faisel, Article 19 has taken up a pilot project to provide financial assistance to temporarily unemployed women journalists. In this project, women journalists who dropped out of various media houses during the epidemic have been given the opportunity to work temporarily with the Article 19 team at the Dhaka office. But this is not a permanent solution. Unjustly dismissal of journalists must be stopped. The government has to take initiative in this regard.

Shakil Ahmed ‍said, stop such a dismissal process, a media personnel law applies first.

One woman journalist, who did not want to be named,

Women journalists in Bangladesh are waiting for that day. When will an effective law be made, where there will be no discrimination between men and women.

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