Queen Camilla praises women journalists in war zones

Queen Camilla, Nov 2023
The Queen highlighted the role of women in reporting on war zones

Queen Camilla has highlighted the threats to journalists who are "risking their lives" to cover conflicts such as those in Israel and Gaza, and Ukraine.

In a speech to the Foreign Press Association in London, she spoke of the particular importance of female journalists in war zones.

She stressed the need to report on sexual violence - a "pervasive and all-too-often hidden feature of conflict".

And she warned of female journalists being "targeted on social media".

Speaking in London, she said: "As we gather, journalists, photographers and their support teams are even now risking their lives."

It follows reports of dozens of journalists dying during the current violence in Gaza and Israel.

But the Queen also sent a strong message on the often under-reported issue of abuse and sexual violence against women in war zones.

It was even more vital to cover such stories in an era when "disinformation runs rife", the Queen told her audience of international journalists.

"You have the ability to break the corrosive silence that frequently surrounds abuse. You bring into the open the voices of victims, you break taboos, you shine a light on these heinous crimes and you guide the public on what they can do to help," said the Queen.

She praised the role of women journalists in war zones, "who despite the many hurdles they have faced, have been among the bravest reporters of all".

She spoke of "trailblazers" like Martha Gellhorn, who reported during World War Two, and CNN's Christiane Amanpour, and she praised journalists who had "paid with their lives", such as Marie Colvin, who was killed in Syria, and Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta.

"Their courage was matched only by their conviction that the truth matters," said the Queen.

Since becoming Queen last year, Camilla has continued with her outspoken campaign to highlight the threat of violence against women and domestic abuse.

Queen Camilla praised the efforts of the Foreign Press Association in providing training for women facing "disruptive and abusive behaviour from members of the public".

She mentioned that the association, marking its 135th anniversary, was originally founded by overseas journalists who had travelled to London to cover a notorious case of violence against women, in the form of the Jack the Ripper murders.

Journalism was vital to freedom of expression in a democratic system, she said.

"And I have even been the subject of one or two stories myself over the years...," said the Queen.