There is still time for IAWRT members to apply to produce a segment of the IAWRT long form global documentary, Women Covering Conflict: the invisible stories. The documentary will be completed in 2018. You are invited to propose 10-minute documentary film stories based on the theme of making the invisible visible, set in your own cultural contexts. Proposals are being received until December 1. Contact the Executive Producer, Chandita Mukherjee, [email protected] if you are interested,  have any questions or require assistance with the application process.

application forms below 

More details.



WINGS increases its focus on Africa

The Women’s International News Service now has active correspondents in Kenya, Uganda, and Cameroon, and occasional reports from Zimbabwe, Ghana, and South Africa. 

WINGS produces radio programs by and about women around the world, and has been in existence for more than 30 years beginning  in San Francisco, where Frieda Werden (a former IAWRT president) was Operations Manager. The all-woman independent radio production company produces and distributes news and current affairs programs which are used by non-commercial radio stations, women’s studies, and individuals.

If you’d like to pitch a show to WINGS or receive the WINGS programs via email, write to [email protected].  You can also click to listen and download other programe as well as on Facebook.

Below are the 12 programs about Africa WINGS released over the past year.  The links are to WINGS Canadian community radio distribution site. They can also be retrieved from from Audioport.



WINGS #32-16 Child Sex Work Kenya



map picture: Ladislav Faigl


The hard work of the Philippines chapter paid off in spades at IAWRT’s 2017 Biennial 9  to 11 November 2017.

IAWRT-Philippines ensured the 2017 conference, held in Quezon City, the largest city in Metro Manila. was a lively and informative dialogue with an opening day which featured several generations of Philippine journalists who had covered stories from the human rights abuses under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos to the drug killings under the current President, Rodrigo Duterte.

It was sobering to hear that 178 journalist have been killed in the Philippines since the restoration of democracy in 1987. Among them were women who exposed corruption, and the country continues to be a dangerous place for the media, with the modern addition of women journalists being brutally harassed by online trolls. From the Philippines, journalists lInday Espina-Varona (ABS-CBN), Jamela Alindogan (Al Jazeera), Jhoanna Ballaran (Philippine Daily Inquirer), and Luz Rimban (Vera Files) were joined by provincial and regional broadcasters  and reporters, Janet Buelo (Quezon province), Sonia Capio (Central Luzon), Kathleen Okubo (Northern Dispach, Cordilleras, in northern Island of Luzon) and Kimberlie Ngabit-Quitasol (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Cordilleras).

Kimberlie and Kathleen were a part of the conference’s focus on indigenous reporting. Kathleen Okubo, an Ibaloi woman, received a standing ovation after telling her story of the resistance by her people to the expansion of extractive industries beginning under the Marcos regime, and the harassment and threats to women journalists liker her. She outlined how the days of Marcos regime made life miserable for the Igorot people of the mountains, and for women journalists like her. She spoke emotionally of the disappearance of a female colleague, probably killed at the hands of the police. “The war Marcos lead – it was not lost in 1986 – it has never stopped” she said. She was arrested as political detainee during the martial law period, even during the people power revolution. She was only freed when Ramos was the president. As well as her arrests, Kathleen Okubo was also threatened, and sexually harassed because she made a decision to write about this “war” on indigenous people because “our stories were not being covered by the established media.”

Kimberlie Ngabit-Quitasol part of an ethno-linguistic group of Ifugao province in the Cordillera administrative region in the north. She also reports on the struggles of indigenous peoples against resource exploitation. “the battle continues to preserve what is left of our land ….we want the kind of development which will not destroy our lands and will benefit all, not just the rich. I speak for the lost raped and murdered and the continuing movement for a just and lasting peace”. 

“I am biased but my stories are objective”— she said she tells the truth by sharing stories of real people. These stories, stories of the marginalized are usually put aside because they are hard to sell. Let’s face it, the big businesses that exploit the people are the biggest advertisers and are close to the media.”  

The event included performances by the Lumad people of Mindinao who have been made refugees by attacks on their schools and being forced off their mineral rich land on behalf of mining companies.  They are living in huts not far from the conference venue on land supplied by the nearby University. Federico Sulapas Dominguez or BoyD the artist who designed the conference logo below, also sang for the delegates.

The IAWRT safety handbook for women journalists a practical guide bases on reals experiences, written by Abeer Saady, was also launched during the event. it is available for download here.

The 37th Biennial coincided with the gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the former IAWRT president Gunilla Ivarsson took the opportunity to publicly urge the world leaders to uphold media freedom and halt attacks on journalists. See media statement attached below.

The reports of the conference is available for download in publications. Summaries and notes of proceedings of the 2017 Biennial Conference are available to members here

Media coverage

International Women Journalists Urge ASEAN to uphold press freedom.

IAWRT Statement on the 31st ASEAN Summit in the Philippines

Global confab asks ASEAN to stop attacks vs Women journalists

Global conference asks ASEAN to stop attacks vs women journalists

A Matter-of-Social-Justice Women in Radio and Television in a Time of conflict and crisis


Turkey / New Zealand

Senior Features Editor in Istanbul (From January 2018, freelance reporter)

Yasmine died suddenly on November 30. We will leave this feature in place for the usual time, as a tribute to her

What type of projects do you do?

Editing articles and digital videos, short films, training entry-level journalists.

Why did this sort work interest you, and how did you get started?

I love storytelling, and I love going out to find the story, meeting people from different cultures and trying to tell their stories. I’ve been a journalist for over a decade now, and started out as a digital journalist in New Zealand, before moving to France.

What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?

I am most satisfied when a report is published! And when it has some kind of impact and you get feedback from people who appreciate, or were moved by it.

What do you like and not like about working in this industry?

I appreciate the privileged position of being able to meet with so many interesting people from all walks of life, and performing a vital role for the public. And doing what I love for a living.

What I don’t like is how much of a struggle it is to survive as a reporter in the current economy.  

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

I think I’m good at getting on with people, at mentoring, and i am very analytical. I have strong knowledge of international politics, particularly of North Africa, France and the Middle East. I believe in the public’s right to be informed, and feel strongly about the need for women to be more recognised and given more equal opportunities in the newsroom.

Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?

Yes it is very inspiring to meet so many amazing women journalists from around the world, and to realise that many of us are facing similar challenges in the media environment.


What are your long-term goals?

To be an independent writer and film maker; and for that to be financially sustainable!

What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?

Have confidence in yourself, and don’t let yourself be sidelined. Go out and do ambitious projects even if no one is supporting you.

Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, because of your experience?

Hard work pays off and with patience comes more opportunities!

Links to some of Yasmine’s work online.

Personal website (currently offline – being fixed!)


Quezon city, November 2017

IAWRT members meeting at the 2017 Biennial in Quezon city, in the Philippines have elected former treasurer Violet Gonda, a Zimbabwean journalist resident in the UK, as the new president .

Egyptian board member Abeer Saady, a media safety trainer and author of IAWRT’s new safety handbook for women journalists, has been elected Vice President. The Chair of the Uganda chapter, Sarah Nakibuuka will take up the role of Secretary.  As IAWRT Treasurer, Philippines Chapter head Jola Diones-Mamangun makes up the executive.

The Board members for the 2017-19 term are veteran Middle East reporter Yasmine Ryan from New Zealand , researcher Greta Gober from Poland, and the India chapter head Archana Kapoor. The board will co-opt a Norwegian member as a link to IAWRT’s main funder, FOKUS.

Violet Gonda told members that her goal is “to elevate IAWRT to reach a higher zenith.”

“As we all heard in our Biennial, the media landscape is changing dramatically and journalists , especially women, are easily targeted. We need to work together creating new paradigms to protect journalists” she said.

My vision is to get members more actively involved; search for funding partners to bring about more diverse programmes that benefit both individual members and all 12 chapters; run credible and fun election processes; empower ownership of the board to the members; and lead a board which is transparent and accountable to its members”.

Pics below:

Jola Diones-Mamangun, Sarah Nakibuuka, Voilet Gonda, Abeer Saady and Archana Kapoor 

Election officer, Lynda Cartindig Gracia and outgoing President Gunilla Ivarsson 

Yasmine Ryan 

Greta Gober




2017 Awards Winners 


Leila Doss Social Impact Award 

Winner: Strike A Rock Director : Aliki Saragas. Country: South Africa


Mette Jansen Innovation Award

Winner: The Quipu Project, Producer: Sandra Tabares-Dupue, co-directors Rosemarie Lerner and Maria Ignacia Court. Country : Peru


Jai Chandiram Emerging Talent Award

Winner: Rasheed. Director: Samia Badih. Country: Lebanon


Honorable Mentions

Leila Doss Social Impact Award 

Women of the Forest Director: Shallah Montero. Country: Philippines 


Jai Chandiram Emerging Talent Award 

Bahava Director: Koel Sen. Country: India


More details 


Women Journalist’s collective experience 

What If? … you are targeted by security forces, shot at, kidnapped, or have to continue live reporting while a person is killed right beside you? It is a possibility for any woman journalist who reports in conflict zones, whether it is an official war or an internal conflict which is not recognised as a war. The IAWRT has now launched a new handbook which helps female reporters plan to avoid such eventualities.

It was launched at the 37th IAWRT Biennial conference held in Quezon City, metro Manila in the Philippines, by the IAWRT President Gunilla Ivarsson Ramon Tuazon from UNESCO Philippines and the author, Abeer Saady, (pictured with the book editor, Nonee Walsh). The Norwegian Journalists Union – Norsk Journalistlag and UNESCO supported the production of this book, which is available for download from the publications section of this website.

Abeer Saady quoted from the book to explain its purpose.  “If you have your grab bag of preparation techniques – risk assessment, profile management, situational and digital awareness and a safety plan along with your physical grab bag – your ability to survive dangerous situations is enhanced.”

“However, the range of situations faced by women journalists around the globe is vast. As well as those whose careers do not survive gender based office harassment, I have met citizen journalists who evaded militias in a war torn country in order to get training to pass on to colleagues, top flight well known international journalists who died in situations which they thought they could manage, survivors of kidnap and imprisonment, women who reported on major disasters without knowing if their own families had survived, under-resourced community radio reporters who put themselves at risk by exposing military atrocities or corruption by giving a voice to the people who are threatened, and female journalists who continue work after surviving rapes, miscarriages and the trauma of witnessing deaths.

I have been very impressed and humbled by every one of these professional women from so many countries, who do a job that matters. The IAWRT is proud to be able to put their collective experiences together in this handbook designed to improve the safety of women who continue to cover important stories.

Often the reality in our business is that it is fast work at short notice, so we hope this fills a gap with a quick and easy read on the way to your next assignment.

(Picture Gunilla Ivarsson, Abeer Saady, Ramon Tuazon & Jola Diones Mamangun head, IAWRT Philippines Chapter) photo by Iphegenie Marcoux-Fortier.

What if … Safety Handbook for  Women Journalists is available for download.

Links to media coverage

A must-read for women journalists






Philippines Community Radio

By Nonee Walsh

As members of the IAWRT board disembark from the ferry at Hagnaya Port in Cebu Province, Philippines, they longingly admire the light green ocean and white sand beach lined with palm trees which barely hide thatched-hut beach resorts. There is little evidence of the devastation of cyclone Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) which hit this island hard and killed at least 6 thousand people across the Philippines, just four years ago.

These young palms on Bantayan Island also hide the story of the survivors relocated from this idyllic spot.

This is a story which veteran journalist and IAWRT Philippines member Sonia Capio and I partially extract from Jenalyn D. Santilalan, our Disaster Response Radio community link person who joins us in the tricycle-truck taking us inland. The land upon which those beach resorts sit used to house fisherfolk and their families. For their ‘safety’ and despite protests, they have been relocated to villages further inland. We are heading to one of these villages, where the people will do a narrowcast and we will share some of our media expertise with community radio volunteers from the Eastern and Central Visayas regions.

The rains have only recently stopped and there have been floods again, but there has not been any repeat of the torrential typhoon rains. We pass through the town and villages which Jenalyn tells us were flattened in the typhoon. The people of Bantayan Island waited ten days for any government help to arrive.

After an hour, the tricycle-truck driver refuses to take us any further on the ever-narrowing pothole filled road, so we walk the rest of the way through one village to Upper Patao.

Here, in a tiny area between one-room houses built from a combination of stone, bricks, bamboo and corrugated iron, a green sheet adorned with spangled purple writing, says WELCOME VISITORS. The people, women, men and many curious children, greet us with necklaces which they have made from beach shells. Mine is mounted on cardboard recycled from a mosquito coil box. A dining table covered in floral plastic is about to be covered with a feast of local scallops, jellied seaweed, fish and rice.

Despite multiple language differences, including the local dialect, Cebu-anon (Sebuanon) which many of our Philippines link people don’t fully understand, it is clear that everyone is so pleased IAWRT International has come. They have put a significant effort into hosting us. I laugh when I see Angelmae, a tiny 18-month-old girl, taking scallops from her mother’s plate.She impatiently throws the shells on the ground when she can’t quickly extract the seafood, knowing she will be told-off by her mother, Benjie. Such things are universal.

After lunch, we take a narrow walking path to the new, one room, day care centre/school newly build by a Philippines non-government organisation.  The lush area is overgrown with lantana, but young banana trees are finally almost ready to bear fruit. Taller palm trunks taper to remnant dead fronds, testament to the ferocity of the typhoon.

On the way I take the hand of a wizened lady in greeting. Ma Perla Mata is one of the trainee community radio volunteers. Later, in the narrowcast of Radyo Sugbanon (the chosen name means something like ‘our radio’ named in the expectation of receiving a transmitter) she says that she is a peasant finding it increasingly difficult to eke out a living because the sea water inundation has made her soil too salty.

The lack of roads to the relocated village is raised in that narrowcast by tricycle driver, Eddie Ferdanadez. He says after the people were forced to relocate, the promised aid money did not materialise to provide social services or basic roads. The screams of IAWRT treasurer Violet Gonda demonstrated the hazards first-hand, as an attempt to assist with her luggage almost went wrong and some men rushed to stop a small tricycle carrier from tipping over.

Without internet access, IAWRT IT training focused on basic principles of filmmaking and radio using smartphones, simple communications principles of journalism, ethics and gender sensitivity. Iphigenie Marcoux-Fortier takes a group to participate in making a film about the project. Quickly the young participants learn to direct the decisions about how they are to be portrayed. Training also focused on the privacy dangers and vulnerabilities of using Facebook, the Philippines’ most popular social media platform. All this was ably assisted by translation into Tagalog by Raymund B. Villanueva, the director of Kodao Productions, one of the partners in the community radio project which IAWRT supports.

Raymund is a veteran press and broadcast journalist, a former economic reporter, who left the mainstream because he could not find “the grand notion of journalism”. We hear the translations liberally expanded with local examples, and good humor. “What we are trying to do here, as communicators and advocates of people’s communication rights is to look for something a little bit bigger” he says. “They should use these communication rights [as] a way for them to make it easier and faster for them to get out of poverty, to be involved in governance … so that whatever development project the government has it should look their way more often.”

Sometime translation is hardly necessary, when our star safety trainer, IAWRT board member, Abeer Saady warns participants about the emotional impact on the citizen journalist who may not be able to stop long to help a victim who may be a member of their local community. There was an emotional response to play acting by Abeer as a frantic mother and Violet the journalist, demonstrating the wrong (and cruel) way for a journalist to deal with victims, and the better way. The possible deaths of four children (which Abeer does not have) brought some close to tears.

Their faces showed genuine experience as she outlined the difficult choices they might have to make when they personally know victims. They brighten a little as she assures them that being a journalist is important work which is helping, by giving a voice to people affected by disaster, broadcasting their need for expert help.

There is a similarly strong response when IAWRT President Gunilla Ivarsson, assisted by Sonia Capio, advises on simple rules about speaking for all by proactively ensuring women have their say. The audience response showed that female participants clearly had stories to tell and were determining to be heard. These are key messages for a community hoping to have a transmitter next year, which allows them to broadcast to the whole Island.

The afternoon training ends with two narrowcasts, the first in Tagalog anchored by the Radyo Tacloban volunteers, Jenalyn and Mariel V. Villamor.The second half-hour is hosted by Sonia and Raymond in English introducing IAWRT as an organisation to the community.

Earlier, the community leader Orly Golisao asks how the volunteers can gain more confidence in radio, but he does not hesitate, beginning with an appeal to the Philippines government not to deal with the lives of the people living on the shores of Bantayan Island – the poor who did not have the title to their land – in such a cavalier fashion. Under the anxious eye of chief trainer Jola Diones-Mamangun, Ma Perla Mata, Eddie Fernadez, and Henry Coyus speak about the post typhoon experience of their constituents.

Much to the Board’s surprise the generosity of the Patao people had no bounds. We treck back to an open grassed area behind the village which is strung with lights. A new banner declares it is a solidarity night. It seems every woman, man and child is there. An enormous table is groaning with a communal feast of more delicious seafood and rice laid out on banana leaves. We are treated to a evening of singing and performances. In her final thankyou (salama) Gunilla tells them how the sharing of food and the workshops and community generosity would remain in her heart for a long time.

Two motorcycles light the way along the walking track and the people offer to carry our bags back to the road in the pitch-dark night. There is lightning in the sky but the few drops of rain on the humid night have not dampened the event.

Iphigenie’s filming has turned her into a child-magnet and she chats to a group surrounding her about her country, Canada – how cold it is now with the snow. It has rained and the holes in the tracks past the outer village have filled up, they skip nimbly, but I choose the wrong side and add a bit of slippery mud to my sandals.

Then as another small sprinkle of rain falls, they begin singing “rain, rain go away, come again another day” she asks if they don’t like rain, but they don’t answer and continue onto the next verse.

Photos by Nonee Walsh. Click to watch Iphigenie Marcoux-Fortier’s film about the encounter with the people of Patao