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Radio producer

Yaoundé, Cameroon

Name of job: Unit head in charge of Quality Control of Radio Programmes, Cameroon Radio Television Corporation (CRTV).

What type of projects do you do?  Currently, I am Unit head in charge of quality control of packaged and live programmes on the national station of the CRTV. I produce and co-produce a handful of radio programmes to raise awareness on the health needs and education rights of girls and women, not to forget the specific needs of persons living with disabilities. So I work on media campaigns to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among girls and women and programmes to end gender based violence and discrimination. I showcase role models, work on women’s entrepreneurship, the promotion of female leadership, especially political leadership and promote gender equality in all spheres of live.

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

Actually, I am in my 20th year of a full and exciting career as a journalist and gender advocate, working for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls. Growing up as a girl who was raised by a single parent – my mother, I faced many challenges, some of which I have never breathed a word about to anyone. But thanks to the education I received, today I take it as a responsibility to empower girls and women, across Cameroon and beyond, with information, for I have come to understand that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. So after my graduation from the school of journalism (a dream come true), I pledged to contribute to make even one girl live better than my girlhood days and so that even one women somewhere in Cameroon will live a more fulfilled life than my mother had.

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

It is very rewarding when people walk up to you after church, in a social gathering, or just send you a text message saying: “I listened to your programme the other day and it was very edifying”; or better still,     “… henceforth I know how to behave to avoid harassment from male colleagues”; this is telling that one’s work is making some impact and of course is a booster to persist along the same lines.

But the greatest challenge is to get women share their stories, for instance, stories of years of battering, or from victims of female genital mutilation and other gender based violence, like widowhood rights or sexual abuse, who refuse to speak out for fear of being stigmatized. Often some women who have acquired some skills and are looked upon as models, survivors and leaders, always ask for monetary compensation to grant interviews or speak on TV and radio programmes. Also, due to ignorance, there is still the category of those who think that all the talk about women’s rights and gender equality is a desecration of traditional values. Despite such challenges, we are encouraged by the feedback we get.

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

Today, I enjoy the fact that there is an increasing number of young, talented women in the media who are more aware about the issues at stake and are determined to make their contribution in mainstreaming gender through the media and to other domains of public and family life. Yet one remains dumbfounded at the indifference of male colleagues who continue to act as if gender equally is just for the airwaves. This observation confirms the fact that though there is a conscious effort to treat women and girls with dignity, a lot remains to be done and we can begin by involving men in the media as actors in the promotion of gender equality.

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

I am of a cheerful disposition and prone the respect of elders and others. I have a mastery in programme packaging, skills in public speaking and in soul music. My strongest asset is that I easily connect with people and create valuable relationships.

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

It is true that I have not really been keen on what other IAWRT chapters have been doing up to now but since my nomination as chapter head for Cameroon, I am making time to, from time to time, check online for news about other chapters. I must say, I marveled at the stance of Tunisian women to speak out against GBV, as well as the recent publication of “WHAT IF…? The Safety Handbook for women journalists”. I do not forget the workshop for rural women organized by IAWRT Kenya. All these are quite interesting and educative.

What are your long-term goals?

My long term goals include owning a TV and radio production unit that will produce programmes that will continue to promote the right s of women, assert their dignity and wipe out stereotypes. I also intend to continue grooming young women in the media to be conscious about gender sensitive reporting, in content, pictures, images, etc.

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

I do not miss any occasion to tell young women that knowledge is power and that humility, hard work and dignity are more precious that instant material gain. My advice to young women is that they should avoid wasting time on trivialities, learn to minimize their differences and work together for the common good.

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

Beware of easy wealth for anything that you do not work for, you may have to earn by risking your life.

links to some of your work which is available online

you can find a few samples of my radio magazine programmes on Sound cloud: Becky Bissong

Facebook: Becky Bissong and MEWIC CAMEROON

(I am married to Tchonko, so am better known as Tchonko Becky Bissong)



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August 2018 -The Kenya Rural Women and Media Project 2018 is now rolling out, IAWRT Kenya, has begun inducting a women’s group in Western Kenya.

The pilot project is the first backed by the IAWRT Rural Women and Media committee as is being conducted with the Blue Light Star Women’s Group, based in Ndivisi village, in Bungoma County, Kenya.

Blue Light Star Women’s group is a highly respected grassroots organbisation because of its success with savings and credit cooperatives, dairy and poultry projects and more recently, branching into establishing a common market for their products to increase income for the participating women by cutting out the middle men. This was also an aspect of how mobile phones empowered rural women in India noted in IAWRT sponsored research by Dr. Mausumi Bhattacharyya

The Blue Light Star Women’s Group were found to be yearning for a platform to share their success stories, which could inspire others in Kenya to engage in similar activities to better the quality of their lives.

The IAWRT Kenya chapter lead by Chair, Josephine Karani, and members including Racheal Nakitare (pictured in Ndivisi) is facilitating the project to equip the group with smart phones, and provide coordination, training, internet access and the skills to engage on both traditional and social media.

The use of media and social communication platforms aims to strengthen the Blue Light Star Women’s Group’s ability  to engage in their socio-economic activities and amplify their voices, including if they wish to lobby on issues they consider to be important.

Embracing the use of technology for economic and social and political development also has a practical side as the women want to begin to be able to access and navigate Kenya’s E-government services which allow online applications for government identification, passports, driver’s license, and other services.


Velvet Revolution raises poignant questions

By Sania Farooqui

Despite the pouring rain and the crawling traffic outside in Delhi, the Gulmohar Hall at the India Habitat Centre was virtually full on Monday. August 13.

The audience had gathered to watch Velvet Revolution, a documentary film produced by IAWRT and anchored by Executive Producer, Nupur Basu. This was the 82nd screening worldwide since the film was launched in March 2017 and the sixth screening in Delhi.

It continues to get strong audience responses, as it shows the global eco-system in which women journalists are having to do their job is downright dangerous, as state and non-state players kill and attack journalists with impunity.

In the 57- minute documentary, Velvet Revolution, six women directors take their lens close to women journalists speaking truth to power. There are gripping testimonials from women journalists in Syria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Cameroon and from the women journalists who worked on the Panama Papers Investigations. 

“Sadly, there is no longer a red line when it comes to killing women journalists”

“Last year, of the 63 journalists killed in the world, 10 were women – the statistic for assassination of women journalists is climbing at an alarming rate” said Nupur Basu in the Q and A that followed with film scholar Sukhpreet Kahlon. One of the 10 women journalists killed was from India .She was Gauri Lankesh, another was Daphne Curuana Galizia, a Panama Papers journalist from Malta. Daphne was assassinated when she was going to work and Gauri was assassinated while returning from work, Nupur Basu pointed out. 

“This was supposed to be the century of the media – but how did journalism become one of the most dangerous professions in the world as it has become today?” the filmmaker asked.

Despite the dangers, the women journalists showcased in the documentary remain passionate about their jobs. They were being harassed, kidnapped, attacked, threatened, and reminded that they were mere ‘women’ and should take care, yet they continued to do go back to the field and tell their stories and defy those that tried to curb their media freedom. What unites all these women in Velvet Revolution is their grit and determination.”

“When Journalists go to cover a war, it is an ‘occupational hazard’, one can expect deaths as collateral damage, but now journalists are being hunted down, killed, murdered for exposing corruption, defying dictatorial regimes and speaking out for poorer communities”.

Sometimes journalists should be the story

The impunity with which they are being killed is appalling” said Nupur Basu, “I have been saying repeatedly since we launched Velvet Revolution that journalists are missing out on their stories – they are under threat and are being killed, and they should not shy away from telling their own story to the world – only then perhaps civil society will respond and the killings will be opposed. “

“Women are being subjected to double attacks – they are being killed, and online they are facing threats and misogynistic attacks – this is why it was important to tell their story and what it takes to be a woman journalist in today’s world,” Basu told the visibly moved audience. 

The best tribute came from a man who introduced himself as a member of civil society(an activist or NGO member)  who said that from now on he would actively speak up for the protection of journalists and thanked Basu and her team members for the film.

Basu made Velvet Revolution with directors Ilang Ilang Quijano from the Philippines, Deepika Sharma from India, Pochi Tamba Nsoh and Sidonie Pongmoni from Cameroon and Eva Brownstein from USA/Bangladesh.

The film has had an invited screening at the UN Headquarters in New York on Nov 2, 2017 on UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Committed Against Journalists and has won a ‘best documentary in feature length segment’ award at the Kashmir World Film Festival in 2017.

It has so far screened in New York, London, Manila, Oslo, Harare, Louisville, Kathmandu, Colombo and multiple venues in different cities in India.  

More details and the Velvet Revolution trailer can be found in our projects as well as a preview of IAWRT’s next multi country documentary.  



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In Tunis thousands of women and supporters  demonstate to pressure the government to extend civil liberties.

Khedija Lemkecher and staff

Equal inheritence rights are among the reforms recently recommended by the Individual Freedoms and Equality Committee (COLIBE). Implementing the revolutionary report (available in Arabic French) would be be a historic first in this Arab and Muslim region, even though it is a country which has lead the region in women’s rights for more than six decades.

Tunisia has had a personal status code since independence, which grants full suffrage, outlaws multiple wives for men, and requires a woman’s consent for marriage. Last year, laws to end protection for rapists and  attempting to end other violence again women, were enacted.  For Leyal Khalife’s summary of Tunisia’s record on women’s rights, click stepFEED.

Tunisia’s National Women’s Day (August 13) commemorates the day of adoption of the Code of Personal Status, Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebi chose that day to propose giving women equal inheritance rights. That is one of many recommendations of the COLIBE report. The current system is based on Islamic law which allows men to inherit double what a woman would receive. The President said he will modify the code of personal status to grant equal inheritance rights. However, the law would not be across the board and exemptions would be allowed.

The COLIBE was tasked with looking at how laws should reflect rights enshrined in the Tunisian constitution which was adopted after the 2011 toppling of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.  It also recommended decriminalization of homosexuality, reduction of the use of the death penalty, reforming religion or morality-based laws, equal custody rights to children and repealing the section of the personal status code which provides that the husband is the head of family.

It drew protests in Tunis from Islamic and conservative groups, with thousands of people objecting to any challenge to Islamic law before President Essebi’s televised women’s day address.

Tunisia’s Women’s day celebration became a support march for the enactment of the inheritence reform, and further reforms to entrench legal equality for Tunisian women.


In the report Women’s Rights: Forbidden Subject, released on International Women’s Day, RSF turned the spotlight on female journalists who have been covering women’s issues who have faced various forms of violence, such as murder, imprisonment, verbal attacks, physical attacks and online aggression.

Online harassment now constitutes more than 40% of the cases registered from 2016 to 2017. by Ilang Ilang Quijano more here



Security and safety for journalists (especially for women journalists) is something that’s not taught in schools and rarely discussed in newsrooms. We learned the principles of journalism, the basics of newsgathering and other reporting skills and the tools for critical thinking and analysis but never how to prepare ourselves for threats and challenges we might encounter as women journalists.

 The IAWRT Safety Handbook for Women Journalists, was launched in November 2017. Ronalyn V. Olea takes a look at what the handbook can do for female media workers. more here


The murder of journalist & activist, Gauri Lankesh at her home in Bengaluru, (Bangalore) the capital of the southern Indian state of Karnata, has again put the spotlight on the saftey of Indian journalists. The shooting of the well respected editor and critic of right-wing Hindu extremism has been condemned widely by media groups. more here


As a female in journalism, the Johannesburg workshop on safety training run by Egyptian journalist, and IAWRT board member, provided an opportunity to discover the best ways to deal with a wide range of safety concerns. A wealth of knowledge was shared, and it was very refreshing to hear the different experiences of all the ladies who participated in the workshop. more here

Published December 2016

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A new edition of the ‘Safety Guide for Journalists: a handbook for journalists in high-risk environments’ is available. Throughout the guide there are practical tips for women in the field. More Here 

Published 9 Feb 2016


The Committee to Protect Journalists has launched its annual publication, Attacks on the Press: Gender and Media Freedom Worldwide for 2016. Through a number of thought provoking and personal essays, the edition examines sexualized violence, online harassment and the intersection of gender and press freedom. more here published 6 May 2016.