HA3 (2)

“… Governments and technology companies alike are struggling to prevent and respond to orchestrated online hate”

Hate speech is a key element in many attacks on the media and individual journalists, so the responsibility of journalists to protect society from hate speech is also an aspect of protecting their own safety.

Links to two resources are here: the journalist’s hate speech test and the UN plan of action. 


DW Akademie, has released an English subtitled version of Abeer Saady’s training video in Arabic about journalists and hate speech. which we share. The video tutorial features the Ethical Journalism Network‘s hate speech 5 point test. The EJN has partnered with IAWRT and chapters including Kenya, since it began its launch of the ‘Turning the Page of Hate campaign’ in 2014 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.



The video tutorial is part of training offered through the Media Heroes project, which aims at creating a digital platform for journalists and media activists, improving capacity through sharing knowledge and experiences. DW Academe is a section of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster.

Click on this link to the principles of the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech they are also a useful template for media organisations to adopt. It was launched in June 2019The strategy is an ambitious program to coordinate efforts against hate speech across all UN agencies to identify, prevent and confront hate speech.

“Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech,”  António Guterres said..

” It means keeping hate speech from escalating into more something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.


The Parliament of the Kurdistan Region has overwhelmingly elected a female MP, Rewas Faiq, as the Speaker of the house.

By Binay Shorsh

The Speaker, Rewas Faiq, holds a doctorate in civil law and investment law. She has worked in the courts and educational institutions, and has been a part of the executive leadership of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and a member of the parliament since 2013.

Vala Fareed, from Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was elected as interim speaker earlier in 2019, technically the first woman elected to the position, but it was in the absence of a power-sharing agreement between the KDP party and the PUK, over the speaker position, being in place.  

Vale Fareed is relinquishing the speaker position to join the cabinet as a Region minister.

Dr. Fariq was elected in July with 72 votes out of 100 Members of Parliament at the sitting, 16 voted for another candidate. 5 MP’s abstained, and 9 ballot papers were blank.

The KRG parliament operates a quota system requiring 30% of MPs to be female. The regional parliament was established in 1992 and agreed to abide by all Iraqi laws except for those that violated human and universal rights.

Binay Shorsh is a chapter member of IAWRT-Kurdistan.



She has rounded up her last lot of figures, put them to bed and retired.

By Kristine Ramm

Solveig Helvik spent 8 years producing accounts, for IAWRT- Norway and for IAWRT- International after a long career in broadcasting. 

She was officially thanked for her service by the international board at the mid-year members meeting of the Norway IAWRT chapter. (pic right with Norway Chapter head, Kristine Ramm) 

“It has been a lot of work – much more than I had estimated. This last year’s accounts were tough, I almost thought I would break down”, Solveig laughs “But I am very stubborn, I always have been.”

That stubbornness has taken Solveig from rural Norway to careers in the Norwegian National broadcaster spanning more than four decades, to teacher’s college and university, and around the world dealing with the finances of IAWRT.

Solveig was born 1942, the eldest of 5 girls and 3 boys, in the beautiful village of Rosendal, by one of the fjords in the rocky west coast of Norway. At the time it was not common for girls to go to college, but education became more available for the post-war generation. To go to high school she would have to leave for the city.  But the journey was postponed for a year. She stayed home, working in a general store, to be close to her brother, who was sick, and died at the age of 16. She later completed high school and was a village teacher for a short time.

Stubbornness emerges in her first job

Solveig joined a big and prestigious company in the city of Bergen, but it was not a good start in the workforce. “The girls in the company were paid less, not offered the same opportunities that the boys were. I saw I would have no possibilities of advancement, because I was a girl. It was so obvious, and I was not used to this kind of gender discrimination. Maybe I was not blunt enough – maybe I was too shy to speak up, being a girl from the countryside.”

“But I remember being really pissed off. I just didn’t want to stay in a company with such a poor gender policy. I wanted to get out of there. After 9 months I just left.”

More Than Four Decades in the Public Broadcaster

There were several hundred applicants when NRK (the Norwegian Public Broadcaster) advertised in 1968 for candidates for a course in television production and financial management. At that time there were no education for film or television in Norway outside of NRK. Solveig was one of 12 people selected for the coveted positions.

In another courageous move in 1973, Solveig left her job in NRK to get more education. “This was unheard of; I was told by my boss – nobody did that! It was almost impossible to get a job in NRK at the time, today I really don’t understand that I quit, but I did! I wanted more education.” She studied at the teacher’s college and two items at the university, Norwegian and History.

“As a single mother I had some financial state support. I had very little money for my son and me, but we managed. I do not regret for a second, it was really worth it”!

When she wanted to go back to NRK she had to struggle for the job, but supported by the trade union, she got it. As she says herself – Solveig can be very persistent!

From 1994 to 2000 she was one of two leaders for projects planning and a producer (project manager) for educational TV programmes as well as a production manager in the children’s programmes department. “So, most of my professional life I have had various work in educational TV. The last 12 years before I retired, I directed documentaries with historical content.” She resigned from NRK in 2016.

IAWRT and Solveig.

In 2010 the IAWRT Norwegian Chapter recruited Solveig as a member – as it needed an accountant. After 6 years she was hired as the accountant of IAWRT International. The same year IAWRT introduced a virtual secretariat.

However, she says this was “not obviously a god idea for the finance team” she says. Solveig was initially sent to Kenya to close the previous IAWRT secretariat and the accounts in Nairobi in 2016. They had professional staff to assist them, “In Norway salaries are much higher, and there was no money to pay for assistance.”

Solveig’s large dining table has been hosting IAWRT Norway’s Christmas members meetings for several years, but most of the time in the last few years it has been covered with receipts, accounts and large piles of paper.

She got access to the international accounting system the office in Nairobi used, but never really had the time to learn how to use it properly. Together with Gerd Inger Polden from Norway, at the time Vice President of IAWRT International, they simplified the system, and established their own, based on what Solveig had been using at her work.  The system has been further developed by Solveig and served her well.

“But I realize that I should have attended a course in modern international accounting systems.  Of course, I should have. We did discuss it, but it never came down to it.

“My experience from national TV program accounting and planning is not the same as doing accounting for an international organisation. I could have eased my work considerably, saved me time and worries. But there was never time, and the money was not there. We are an amateur organisation with voluntary workers. But financial managing is important, and we were wrong not to prioritize it.

A full time job – at least!

Solveig has been 1 of 3 paid officers in IAWRT, like the Web journalist, paid an honorarium well below normal part-time wage rates. The Secretariat (communications) officer is paid a full-time basic wage.

“But this has been more than a full-time job, with so many projects, and hundreds of receipts from different countries.  FOKUS demands a receipt for every penny spent. They are very strict about that, like every future funder likely will be.”

“Everybody feels that accounting is the most boring part of the job, but to be a sustainable organisation it is important to put enough attention and energy into it.”

 “For the future IAWRT must take the financial part of the work much more seriously”.  Solveig says. And it seems that her appeal has been heard, IAWRT Finance Officer, Jola Diones Mamangun was in Norway recently to assist Solveig and saw firsthand the extent of the job.

“For the long time you have been an accountant the international board did not see that you needed an assistant, ”Jola wrote in her thank you card to Solveig:  “I have seen that you need support, I am working on putting it in the Financial Working Plan”

It is a final acknowledgement of Solveig Helvik’s three years of hard work that her successor should get more support. No doubt Solveig as an IAWRT member will continue to stubbornly speak her mind on that.  

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Women refugees: leaders and resilient problem solvers, not victims

IAWRT’s Displacement and Resilience documentary, is now being screened, stimulating discussion on refugees and the IAWRT global film making model which facilitates local control over the telling of stories.

The film is created from shorter segments by filmmakers Erika Cruz of the Philippines, Afrah Shafiq from India, Khedija Lemkecher, Tunisia, Eva Brownstein of Canada, and a joint segment by India’s Archana Kapoor and Chandita Mukherjee who was the Executive Producer of the whole documentary.

“a sharp indictment of the lack of humanity within the state and the people, while doubling up as a celebration of the enduring spirit of resistance and an effective demand of reformative practices. “  www.cinestaan.com

That was the view of one critic after the successful premiere at the15th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival, New Delhi.

“IAWRT’s production is a timely and topical documentary that is as intelligent as it is poignant. It does not lose the edge of facts and stats while bringing to the forefront the emotionally

charged traumas of its subjects.” www.cinestaan.com

The film about Rohingya, Tibetan, Syrian, Lumad and Matigsalug women refugees, won an award later that month at the 2nd South Asian Short Film Festival, Kolkata, organised by the Federation of Film Societies of India. The prize was for best documentary in the 40- 60 minutes category, called the P.K. Nair Award.

“Homeless and country-less, refugees pay the price for wars and purges. The film takes us deep into their psyche and focuses on the humanitarian work being done for their rehabilitation.”  P.K. Nair Award, jury citation

Prize-winners at the festival were screened for students of the six disciplines of film-making taught at the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata, on April 1, 2019.

It has been shown at the conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies at the Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada on May 14th, 2019,  The screening was followed by a discussion amongst the academic delegates.

 “People thought it was very beautiful and they appreciated the breadth of forced migration that was represented, and how women were depicted as leaders and resilient problem solvers, not just victims.” Conference organiser, Michaela Hynie

Displacement and Resilience also became a part of a special day-long event, called Migration Museum at Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai June 8th..This enquired into migration through conversations, poetry, films and art. It explored issues of identity in the context of migration. It was a graduation project of Godrej India Culture Lab’s Leadership Programme which aims to train managers of cultural institutions. The film was very well received by the audience of 450.

Later in May the producer Chandita Mukherjee says another screening triggered an enthusiastic discussion on the possibilities of collaborative filmmaking, at the Film and Television Institute of India at Pune.

“The four-week Film Appreciation Course of Summer 2019 held at the premier institute of film making in India with the aim of encouraging an informed level of writing and discourse on film in the media. journalists who write on film, television and new media, college lecturers in language and literature, and film activists.”

This screening event was able to break down the film-making process as the four 10-minute films sent by the film makers from Philippines, India, Tunisia and Canada were screened, followed by the final edited version and that gave rise to a lot of discussion.

“The course participants were enthusiastic to discuss the possibilities of collaborative film-making in the future, using internet telephony and image sharing, that would allow local stories to be told by local people, familiar with the particular language and culture as has been done in “Displacement and Resilience”. 

Chandita says this is “as opposed to the way reporters from international TV channels travel to places they do not know, dealing with unfamiliar cultures and languages, giving a limited view, which becomes the authoritative voice, just because it is BBC or CNN or National Geographic and widely disseminated throughout the world”. 

Most of the screenings so far have been spearheaded by the IAWRT India Chapter. In one instance and India board member Mausumi Bhattacharyya took one initiative when the South Asian Film Festival was on, to arrange smaller screenings in Kolkata, which she called the “Displacement & Resilience Kolkata Tour” .

Screenings included the Kolkata Press Club; Rabindra Bharati University with post-graduate students, jointly hosted by the Departments of Women’s Studies, Human Rights and Media Studies and St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata at the Mass Communication Department.

More showings 

IAWRT Chapters around the globe, particularly where local directors reside, also expect to organise showings for members, to discuss both the refugee issues for women, and filmmaking to tell their stories.    

Displacement and Resilience will show at the 100% Manusia Film Festival in January 2020, Indonesia, as part of a package which IAWRT India is curating from the Asian Women’s Film FestivalThe film festival, held most recently in Bali, prioritises issues in human rights and diversity, encompassing gender and HIV/AIDS. It aims to promote awareness on a wide range of these issues and create platforms of opening, sharing and exchanging creativities.


In December, the Madurai International Film Festival, in India is honouring Chandita Mukherjee with a retrospective, where she will show five hours of past work, ending with the IAWRT global production. 

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Mexican communications researcher, Aimée Vega Montiel is the new chair of the steering committee of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender.

She was elected at GAMAG’s Second General Assembly, held in Madrid, Spain.

IAWRT board member Greta Gober, who heads our GMP Committee, is IAWRT’s new representative to GAMAG.

She replaced Swedish IAWRT member and a former IAWRT President, Gunilla Ivarsson.

She participated in the General Assembly along with IAWRT Vice President Abeer Saady. 

The International Steering Committee Chair, Aimée​ Montiel, who is currently writing two books: Media and Violence of Gender and Access and Participation of Women in Media Industries, will hold the position for the 2019-2021 period.

Executive Committee

Chair – Aimée Vega Montiel (International Association for Media and Communication Research -IAMCR)

General Secretary – Sarah Macharia (World Association for Christian Communication – WACC)

Deputy Chair – María Angeles Samperio (International Federation of Journalists – IFJ)

Chairs of GAMAG Regional Chapters

Africa Chapter – Nancy Mbaya (Independent)

Europe Chapter – Teresa Carreras (Associació Dinamitzadora de la Xarxa de Dones Periodistes i Comunicadores de Catalunya-Xarxa Internacional de Periodistes amb Visió de Gènere – Spain)

Latin America and The Caribbean Chapter – Lucía Lagunes (Comunicación e Información de la Mujer, A.C– Mexico)

Asia-Pacific Chapter – Laxmi Murthy (Network of Women in Media India NWMI) 

Chairs of Thematic Committees

Research and Policy – Carla Cerqueira

Media Practice – Sonia Santoro

Training and Capacity building – Sharmini Boyle 

Advocacy and Communication – Vilma Peña

GAMAG was launched by UNESCO and more than 500 organisations at the first Global Forum on Gender in 2013 and is a worldwide, multi-stakeholder network of individuals and organisations working to increase gender equality in and through the media and ICTs.

Adapted from post in GAMAG News section.

Afrah Shafik

Goa, India

Multimedia Artist: digital, animation, sound, video, archives, writing

What type of projects do you do?

I am a multimedia artist; my work is not confined to one particular medium. I often use digital technology – animation, sound, video, coding; as well as writing, research and archival material to make hybrid visual artwork.

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

I’ve never been to art school and was not really exposed to it while growing up, so I didn’t exactly set out intending to be an artist. I was always an avid reader and liked to write. Towards the end of my college term, I took a short course in documentary filmmaking that I enjoyed and decided to do a Masters in Mass Communication. At that time documentary film felt like a more imaginative way of telling the same stories I was perhaps interested in sharing through my writing. After my Masters, I had the good fortune to assist and be mentored by filmmakers and artists from whom I got to explore and learn not only the medium of documentary filmmaking and visual art but also a political and feminist understanding of issues.

I always worked as a freelancer, and I didn’t confine myself to one particular type of job. I just went from project to project working on things that sounded interesting to me. This meant that I sometimes worked as an assistant to a film curator, sometimes I was the manager for a film festival, at other times I was a line producer on a large scale documentary shoot, an illustrator for an internet project, or a researcher on an academic publication. As I went on this journey, I slowly became more familiar with various practices and skills and when I got the opportunity, I began to make work that in someway combined all the things I know and like.

I make art as a way to understand and make sense of the world around me.

I think it is important for everyone to have the space to tell their own stories in their own way.

In our constructed world of media and its related industries there is mostly a dominant set of people who do all the talking. Often, they narrate their experiences as the only truth, or speak on “behalf” of other people without truly understanding or accurately representing realities beside their own.”

The people who are often left behind and spoken over – women, people of colour, people of a certain religion, caste, class, ethnic background, sexual identity, ideology – hardly get to see their themselves represented in the world outside. When I watch or read something where I can see myself truly reflected, it gives me strength to continue to be myself and to understand and accept myself. I have experienced this, and I feel in turn this is the ethos that guides me in what I make.

What parts of this job do you like and find most satisfying?

The nice part about being an independent artist is that you can see what you find missing in the world, and make that thing. Or you can think up a world you would like to live in and then make that come alive in your work. I find in that a satisfying way to cope, to hit back, to thrive.

“I have a keen interest in the inner lives of women. Their history, feelings, work, skills, minds, bodies and behavior has been controlled, contorted, misrepresented, ignored.”

But there are so many people who have been undoing the lacuna and misinformation bit by bit in their own areas of study. I like that my work allows me to spend a lot of time reading and research around this. Lately I have been spending a lot of time in archives reading about women’s histories, letters, diaries, stories – which I find very satisfying.

What do you not like or find most challenging about working in this industry?

I have many complaints about the functioning of this industry, which are reflective of also the functioning of this world in general. The way in which cliques are formed and there are insiders and outsiders. The way in which access to resources is so unevenly distributed. The way in which spaces and work can be ghettoized and side-lined. I do feel however, that I am presently in a space where I am looking to channelise disappointment and anger into productive energy and would therefore not want to dwell on these.

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

I enjoy opening out my mind, dreaming up things and giving in to creative instincts and sudden inspiration, but I am equally committed to seeing it through with the work that is required to translate an idea into its material form. I believe in attentiveness, to giving my all, to working hard. I think this is my strength. I like to do every project that I engage in to the best of my own ability.

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

I have honestly not been exposed much to the International network of IAWRT but I have certainly been inspired by and helped endlessly by the women in our own India Chapter of IAWRT. Several of the members are filmmakers whose work I admire very much.

“Being a part of IAWRT reinforces the importance of the collective.”

What are your long-term goals?

I would like to continue to expand my knowledge and skill base, and to experiment and push the boundaries of my own work both formally and conceptually. I would also like my work to reach a wider audience. And in the very long term, I would love to also be a producer – finding ways to fund, show and facilitate the work of other artists.

What special advice do you have for other women seeking this type of work?

I think that everyone has their own voice and way of expressing what they would like to say. This means that everyone cannot make “viral material” that gets all the hits. At the same time I do believe that there is an audience for every type of work. It is a great feeling if even two people truly understand what you have made and it gives them meaning and that is enough to keep going.

“Don’t try to make things for the likes alone, because in that process you may lose your voice and your own very unique and special way of saying things.”

It is sometimes a scary and anxiety inducing process to find that voice or continue to hold on to it and let it grow – but when it does begin to happen, it is a very reaffirming and fantastic feeling. Sometimes it might feel like you don’t know what you are doing, and there is no reinforcement from anywhere. Even when this happens, just trust your gut and keep going. Do listen to criticism carefully, but don’t stop making the stuff that makes you feel alive. 

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

Although the rewards of working as a freelancer and an independent artist are many, it is also difficult sometimes in terms of sustainability. Unlike having a job or working on contract you don’t always know where your next payment will come from. If you make work that is niche, you may find it hard to sell or get funders too. I don’t have any quick fix solutions for these very real world problems, but if you are consistent, honest and good at what you do things do work out – so keep at it and don’t give up.

links to some of Afrah Shafiq’s work available online.  


Personal website/profiles on line.


www.loveandotheroutdoorgames.tumblr.com – (same name on instagram)


Many women journalists are being attacked and fear arbitary detention.

In a climate where media and women are being undermined, targeted training was provided under the Safeguarding Press Freedom Project.

Click on picture and scroll for more. 

First WOMEN-onlY safety training for journalists and media workers held in the Philippines


Josephine Mirembe Nkuubi from the IAWRT- Kenya has stepped up to the challenge of portraying the ability of people with disability.

Her short film, Sign My Order, is a finalist in the Focus On Ability Short Film Festival awards based in Australia.

The films will be featured at a gala event in Sep[tember and are later screened on Australian televsision with additional screenings in Australian capital cities, in the US and African countries. 

Sign My Order has been selected in the International Documentaries Category, in the Nova Employment 2019 Focus On Ability Short Film Awards.

Josephine says the 5-minute story is about five deaf waiters employed at Pallet Café in Nairobi. They share their hardship and challenges in getting employed and the joyous impact that comes with becoming recognized and appreciated employees.

“My main aim is to create awareness on unbiased opportunities such as employment in addition to encouraging non-disabled persons and institutions to accept persons with disability as being able to fully participate in societal undertakings, hence realizing their full potential.”

The Focus on Ability Festival is designed to encourage filmmakers to focus on the ability of people with disability. This year is the festival’s 11th year.

The winner of the International Short film and Documentary sections receive 2 Return Flights to Australia.

Josephine Nkuubi is the Vice Chair of the IAWRT-Kenya Chapter, and this is the second time she has made it into the finals.

26 – 28 August 2019 ♦ Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. – formerly known as the United Nations Department of Public Information / Non-Governmental Organizations Conference – The conference is the organization’s premier event for civil society.

Building Inclusive and Sustainable Cities and Communities.The sixty-eighth conference will focus on Sustainable Development Goal 11 – making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Further details on the Conference, including registration, can be found at www.un.org/csc2019.

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‘Hate speech may have gained a foothold, but it is now on notice …

and we will never stop confronting it,” promised United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

He was speaking at the launch of the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech in June.

“Hate speech not only attacks human rights norms and principles, it also undermines social cohesion, erodes shared values and lays the foundation for violence…

“… hate speech has been a precursor to atrocity crimes, including genocide, from Rwanda to Bosnia to Cambodia,” he said.

“More recently, it has been strongly linked with violence and killings in several regions of the world, including Sri Lanka, New Zealand and here in the United States. Governments and technology companies alike are struggling to prevent and respond to orchestrated online hate,” Secretary-General says.

The strategy is an ambitious program to coordinate efforts against hate speech across all UN agencies to identify, prevent and confront hate speech.

“Addressing hate speech does not mean limiting or prohibiting freedom of speech,”  António Guterres said and he invited journalists gathered after the launch to get the media to come on board.

” It means keeping hate speech from escalating into more something more dangerous, particularly incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, which is prohibited under international law.

So it is timely that DW Akademie, has released an English subtitled version of Abeer Saady’s training video in Arabic about journalists and hate speech. which we share.

The video tutorial is part of training offered through the Media Heroes project, which aims at creating a digital platform for journalists and media activists, improving capacity through sharing knowledge and experiences. DW Academe is a section of Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international broadcaster.

Abeer Saady, who is also the IAWRT Vice President, says the video tutorial features the Ethical Journalism Network‘s hate speech 5 point test. The EJN has partnered with IAWRT and chapters including Kenya, since it began its ‘Turning the Page of Hate campaign’ in 2014 to mark the 20th year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.