Women journalists' gathering concludes with 9-point Kathmandu Declaration

KATHMANDU: A two-day National Assembly of Women Journalists concluded stressing strict adherence to the journalists' code of conduct as well as assurance for physical and professional safety of women journalists.

"Strict adherence to the code of conduct is a must as journalism should not be practised in a way to assassinate individuals' character and dignity", NPU Women Department Chief Bala Adhikari added.

As many as 400 journalists from across the nation had participated in the assembly organised by the Nepal Press Union Women Department.

The assembly came up with a 9-point Kathmandu Declaration acknowledging the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and freedom of press and of expression.

Adhikari shared that they underlined the need of compliance to the code of conduct and make the profession respectful and trustworthy.

The Declaration also emphasised at least 33 per cent participation of women in every media house. They called on the government to immediately enforce 50 per cent discount on the medical treatment for journalists.

Among other points of the Declaration are enforcement of minimum wage of Rs 19,500 for journalists and setting up of child care units at media houses having more than six women journalists.

Speaking at the gathering, Nepali Congress central member and former Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said anomalies were gradually creeping into journalism. He called for empowerment of the sector through capacity building, research and adoption of journalistic norms and values.

The Nepal Press Union is an organisation of democrat journalists with more than 10,000 members including 500 women.