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Board awards scholarships to African members

Florence Dallu, an award-winning Kenyan journalist and communications specialist with over ten years’ experience working with both local and international media  is one of two African recipients of IAWRT/FOKUS scholarships for 2017.

Her goal is to be a voice for women and children in Africa, through her writing and multi-media skills.

Carmine Amaro from South Africa has also received support for her media studies in 2017.

Ms Dallu plans to develop her career and skills as a communicator (she now works at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation) by pursuing a Masters degree in Corporate Communications from the United States International University (USIU- Africa).

Florence writes:

I am a seasoned TV reporter having started in the industry as a teenager presenting a TV children’s show. The program was produced by Josephine Karani – IAWRT Chapter Head in Kenya, and it broadened my knowledge in children’s affairs and grew my interest in advocating for the recognition of children’s rights.

The exposure I gained from my show provided me with many opportunities, among them being elected to the Children’s Cabinet of Kenya. During my term as president, the Children’s ACT 2001 was passed into law.

I have worked in various media fields since my teen years including writing for a national daily newspaper, presenting a radio show with the United Nations Information Center, and a live TV program on a national broadcasting station.

My experiences have fuelled my fervor for advocating for change to alleviate the plight of women and children. A story I did on children forced into sex work in Kenya’s Korogocho slums won me many accolades, including the 2013 CNN African Journalist of the Year, Radio General News Award and the 2012 KEMEP/UNFPA media award on gender and development.

I have plans to publish academic papers and reach an entirely different audience with my pieces. I hope that by pursuing a Masters I can be able to gain skills and advance my knowledge in documentation.

I also hope that the Masters will allow me to grow in my career and give me an added advantage when pursuing opportunities in communications.

Click for another of my stories, Growing up with HIV.

Carmen Amaro:

is an audio engineer at ETV and secretary​ of the South African chapter of IAWRT,. She is the second recipient of  a 2017 scholarship. She is also on online blogger and presenter for Astute Radio – a site which challenges stereotypes. She says she is “really excited about this opportunity for growth”

Carmine is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts program and will be using the scholarship from IAWRT/FOKUS to cover the courses for Communication Science, which is one of her majors. 

“I have been busy with the introductory courses for Communication Science and last week I completed my examinations for two courses. I am anxiously awaiting the results of these exams.”

The purpose of the courses is to introduce students to the basic principles of communication and to create an awareness of the skills and competencies needed to communicate effectively.

The section on Communication Contexts and Applications covered interpersonal communication, communication in small groups, public speaking, mass communication and specialisation areas in communication studies.

“For the upcoming semester(June-December) I will be studying organisational communication theory and research, and gaining practical skills to promote an integrated approach to organisational communication.

Mass Communication and Media Theory involves critical analysis of the relationship between the media and democracy, the functions, effects and power of the media in society and the media as public sphere and media culture.

My studies will also include English for academic purpose and marketing communication. “I will be finishing further subjects during the Jan-June period 2018 and I will keep you posted.” 

check out some of Carmine’s Astute broadcasts: People living in Poverty Do black bodies matter? and blogs: The Value of Time

2016 recipients

Sarah Nakibuuka Bakehena

 is the IAWRT Chapter head in Uganda, she undertook training in photography and video production at the UMCAT School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Kampala.

Sarah writes:The training course in photography and videography was aimed to develop and enhance my career capacity as a professional as it offered an opportunity to learn new techniques in the area of photography and videography. It exposed me to various aspects of innovation in the two areas. The training included lectures, field visits, practicals, tutorials and presentations. Pic:Sarah Nakibuuka during one of the practical sessions away from the Institution.  

I had some general skills in the area, but the course helped me acquire additional skills and exposed me to a variety of modern techniques and the opportunity to access the state of the art technology and equipment: The school has equipment for practical work, so now I can handle various equipment for capturing video or stills, editing and the entire production process.

It also provided opportunity for networking and acquiring new friends in the same profession and this has helped me a lot, through referrals. I hope to start producing videos and photos on a commercial basis if I get resources for equipment like cameras, computers for editing and software.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to IAWRT for the support which has enabled me to acquire additional skills for my photography and videography career. As an IAWRT country chapter head, I will also be able to support both the upcoming members and the professionals in the same field.

Shaileza Singh:

from Nepal was also a recipient of a 2016 scholarship to assist with her Masters Degree at Kantupur City College, Kathmandu.

“I am very much grateful to IAWRT, for providing me such an esteemed scholarship scheme to peruse my academic career, without which I wouldn’t have been able to continue my master’s degree.”

Indeed, with the kind support and help of the scholarship committee of IAWRT, I got this opportunity for enhancing and upgrading my education and qualifications which really translated my dream into a successful reality.

Shaileza has achieved strong results in studies including mass communication, the Nepali media and mass media, journalism principles, media law, photo journalism, and electronic publication.

“It is my pleasure and privilege to let you know that I have accomplished fourth semester of my Master of Arts in Mass Communication & Journalism and I am preparing for my thesis.

Josephine Mirembe Nkuubi:

was assisted through an IAWRT/FOKUS scholarship to attend the United States International University – Africa, in Nairobi, to study for a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies. She completed the degree in 2017.  

Josephine says “this support came at a great time of financial need and I am grateful to IAWRT for what it has done for me. Indeed, IAWRT served as my only hope for my last-minute rescue to enable me to continue and complete my studies as I had intended.”

“The USIU training offers me a dual qualification which is acceptable in Kenya and internationally, and this course will be useful in enabling meto  access opportunities that I would never have had because of lack of a first degree.  

In addition, she has been exposed to lots of knowledge and Josephine says she has been humbled by IAWRT’s support, which has given her confidence and grown her self-esteem, She intends to keep working in IAWRT (she is currently the Vice Chair of the Kenya Chapter) “to give back to IAWRT in whatever capacity, forever and ever.”

Josephine will be graduating in early September 2017.

Cecilia Maundu Mwende:

from Kenya, another 2016 recipient,  has been assisted to complete a PHD by thesis with the Department of Communication Studies, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya. It is entitled “Documentary Filmmaking as an Agent of Social Change”.

It examines expository documentary films which advocate for social change by telling stories concerning problematic social issues. Cecelia’s thesis explores how films go about such advocacy and examines the situations where such strategies most effective in influencing social change.

She is using case studies, accompanied by interviews with documentary makers and target audiences as well as TV program managers to illustrate the extent to which observational documentaries can shape the views of their target audience, and in turn, persuade them to change and take the necessary action.

Sharmistha Jha:

from India has been assisted to complete a PhD at Assam Dom Bosco University, Azara, Guwahati, in 2016 she completed the mandatory coursework. “I am working on my research proposal which relates to online (new) media. 

Mausumi Bhattacharyya

Mausumi was supported in her studies with a scholarship, and completed her thesis in 2016.

We have already posted a website report on her research on Rural Indian women and their use of mobile phones, and shared the executive summary of her thesis about the potential of this technology as a tool of empowerment for such women.

Mausumi is hoping to extend on this research in the future.


Call for submissions

The UN is preparing a report on ways to deal with online attacks on women.

Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, intends to examine the issues of protection, prosecution and redress for a report to the Human Rights Council.

While the use of information and communications technologies has contributed to the empowerment of women and girls and a fuller realization of their human rights, Ms Šimonović has noted the need to examine this phenomenon, and the applicability of national laws to violent online attacks.

She will make recommendations for states and non-state actors on ways to fight online violence against women and girls, while respecting freedom of expression and the prohibition of incitement to violence and hatred, in accordance with article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Special Rapporteur is looking for information on existing good practices on law regulating violence against women and sexual harassment on-line and will receive submission from states, national human rights institutions, NGO’s, and academia, on the following topics:

  • Existing legislative models, criminal or administrative, on prosecuting and punishing various forms of online violence against women;
  • Existing policies that allow identification, reporting and rectification of incidents of harassment or violence against women via the internet services providers;
  • Existing jurisprudence from international, regional, and national courts, on prosecution or administrative proceedings in such cases.

Submission will be received in English, French and Spanish. and should be sent electronically by 30 September 2017 to [email protected] using the title: “Submission on online violence against women”.

Please also indicate if you have any objections to your reply being posted on the OHCHR website. Questions or requirement for clarifications concerning this request can be address to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights ([email protected]).

The final report is due to be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2018.



By Sarah N. Bakehena & Eunice N. Kasirye

IAWRT’s Uganda Chapter is working on implementing strategies to improve media gender recogition and representation. 

It has held several workshops on gender mainstreaming for senior media managers and reporters from stations in Uganda.Their purpose was to create awareness and to empower media managers and journalists with an understanding of the value of gender mainstreaming, as well as to stimulate dialogue on incorporating gender issues into media output. They also aimed to to come up with an implementation strategy which will include developing a Gender Mainstreaming Guide for Media in Uganda.(Pic right: Irene b. Mugisha Treasurer IAWRT Uganda Chapter and  left is Ms. Sofie Matovu Programs Manager Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) Television).

Uganda, like many other African Countries, presents serious concerns in terms of gender imbalances and inequities in employment opportunities, female participation and the portrayal of women and girls.

The Beijing Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace places specific obligations on the media, both in the way women participate and in how they are portrayed. It has objectives that require signatory nations and their citizens to ‘increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication’ and that demand that governments and other organisations, businesses and individuals ‘promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media’

During the workshops, the participants observed key issues affecting women in the media in Uganda.

  1. Lack of an ability to demand their space in the media industry from the newsrooms. The majority of female journalists are trapped in junior and subordinate positions in the newsroom because they lack what it takes to push to decision lines and even lack mentorship to gain excellence.
  2. Majority of female journalists are assigned or even opt for less challenging tasks for fear of going an extra mile to make them shine.
  3. Female journalists are often compromised by male bosses whom often turn them into people with less self esteem.
  4. News sources are also said to be abusive to female journalists.
  5. Some female journalists have done little to diversify their knowledge and skills, which makes it hard for them to be assigned to critical stories.
  6. Capacity building and development is not taken seriously by most female journalists and is often used as an opportunity to get off routine work or even for spoiling oneself.
  7. Some female Journalists tend to dress in a way that takes away their dignity.
  8. In Uganda, because the media is so demanding, some media owners prefer that a journalist should be at work on a daily basis. When female journalists become pregnant, it is a reason for them to be demoted or asked to leave for good. This is a breach of the labour laws.
  9. Female journalists in the regional areas still struggle with conservative societal perceptions about the role of women in society..
  10. Remuneration for female journalists is wanting. Even when they do the same job as their male counterparts their pay is little, inconsistent or paid partially or in arrears

Key Strategies for Gender Mainstreaming:

  As a strategy, IAWRT Uganda Chapter agreed to

   * Develop a Gender Media Guide 

   * Develop a Code of Ethics to protect women against discrimination in the media.

   * Profile all female journalists around the country

   * Undertake a mentorship program for all women in the Media in Uganda to empower them with key journalism skills.

   (Pic: Ms. Rose Namale Board Member IAWRT Uganda Chapter and Mr. Tyaba S. Abubaker Programs Manager NBS Television).