Julieth Gonzalez Theran, a Columbian television journalist, was groped while reporting on the World Cup in Russia, but kept right on with her broadcast. Picture: Screengrab
During this year's 16 Days of Activism to End Violence against Women and Children, Independent Media continues our #DontLookAway campaign by shining a spotlight on sexual harassment. 

In June, in the middle of a crowd of football fans in Saransk, Russia, Julieth Gonzalez Theran, a television journalist from Colombia, covering the World Cup in Russia, was broadcasting live, when a fan jumped into frame and, grinning broadly, grabbed her breast, kissed her cheek, then ran away. Gonzalez Theran kept on reporting - even while she was being groped - refusing to acknowledge the incident.

It sparked a global movement called #LetHerWork, which seeks to highlight the sexual harassment female journalists often face.

It’s no different in South Africa.

EWN broadcast journalist Monique Mortlock said: “I was covering a protest in Hangberg last year. I went with my male colleague. Usually while we cover these protests we tend to run towards the bullets, we tend to run where the action is. I have never been scared like that, but at this protest we were running away from the action.

“Protesters were throwing petrol bombs and police were moving in. I was on my phone filing a story and I was warned by opportunistic criminals, ‘Sit daai foon weg of ons f*k jou op’ (Put that phone away, or else we will f**k you up),” she said.

Mortlock didn’t take much note of the comment until later. “I was then doing a live interview on the John Maytham show.

“As I was on the phone, one guy grabbed my arm and told me, ‘ek gaan nie vir jou weer warn nie’ (I’m not going to warn you again) and one of his buddies told me, ‘sit daai weg of ons rape jou’ (put that away or else we will rape you),” she said.

“This man wanted to use his power over me as a big man to let me know he could hurt me in more ways than one and in the most brutal sexualised way possible.”

SABC Parliamentary reporter Abra Barbier said she had been sexually harassed by the leaders of the country. “In 2006, I was covering an MEC.

“His bodyguard always made side comments and he came up to me and said, ‘I like your boots. I can tell you are the kind of women that likes to be in charge’.

“It was the way he said it, it gave me the creeps, and when you hang around those circles of MECs and MPs there’s a certain amount of power men have.”

Barbier has been a journalist for more than 20 years.

“The corridors of parliament are absolutely unsafe not only for female journalist but for any pretty young thing. I have been hit on by many MPs from political parties.

How to show your support:

* Take the pledge against sexual harassment

* Join and like Be The Change Mzansi on Facebook. 

* Follow the Don't Look Away campaign on IOL

* Follow us on the Facebook pages of Daily NewsCape Argus and The Star.