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On Countering Negative Social Norms and Discriminatory Practices

The discussion will revolve on addressing governments and international organizations actions to promote a balanced portrayal of women and girls and their multiple roles in the media.

IAWRT, IAWRT USA chapter, Government of Malawi, Government of Trinidad and Tobago, in cooperation with SADC Gender Protocal Alliance, Gender Links and Empowerhouse will hold a side event at the 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64).

The discussion will be moderated by Birgitte Jallov, IAWRT Organisational Development Committee Co-chair and Founder and Director of EMPOWERHOUSE. EMPOWERHOUSE is an organization based in Denmark that assists communities, facilitators, funders and governments with finding integrated solutions to create and strengthen community radio.

Panelists include Hon. Mary Thom Navicha, Malawi Minister for Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare; H.E. Ambassador Pennelope Beckles, Permanent Representative of The Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations; Emma Kayila, Chairperson of the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance and Board Member Gender Links; Sifisosami Dube, Head of Policy & Movement Building of Gender Links, South Africa; and, Josephine Karani from the Media and Broadcasting at Parliament of Kenya and IAWRT Kenya Chapter Head.

The Side Event will be held on March 19, 1:15pm – 2:30pm, UN Headquarters, 405 East 42nd Street, New York (room to be announced).

Contact: [email protected] Kindly RSVP by close of business of March 13, if you do not have a UN grounds pass. Provide us with your full name as it appears in your government-issued ID.


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IAWRT’s parallel event at the 64th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW64) is on Women and Media: Addressing progress in media coverage of women and media’s role 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

The discussion takes place on 11 March, 4:30pm at United Nations Church Center, 10th floor. 

The main focus of CSW64 this year will be on the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly.

Aiming to contribute to this theme, IAWRT members from various countries will join CSW64 and will be able to share their own assessment and experiences in the discussion that will be led by Dr. Purna Sen (Exeuctive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Addressing Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination at UN Women), Dr. Diana Nastasia (Faculty Fellow, Southern Illinois University), Dr. Michelle Ferrier (Dean of School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and Founder and Executive Director, Trollbusters), Racheal Nakitare (Assistant Television Programmes Manager, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation) and Marry Ferreira (IAWRT Youth Representative at the UN).

The discussion will be moderated by Patricia Newberry, President of the Board of Directors of the Society for Professional Journalists.

CSW64 is planned to take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March 2020. Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world are invited to attend the session. To know more about CSW64, read the conference flyer.

IAWRT is an NGO with consultatve status in ECOSOC, UN representation is through its US chapter. Each year IAWRT delegates attend the Commisson on the Status of Women and organises one or more parallel or side events.

To join the IAWRT’s parallel event at CSW64, please contact [email protected]

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IAWRT joins media groups calling for the immediate release of Frenchie Mae Cumpio, a member of the IAWRT Philippines chapter.

Cumpio was arrested with four other human rights defenders in simultaneous early morning police raids on offices on February 7 in Tacloban City.

by Lady Ann Salem

Prior to her arrest, Cumpio has been subjected to surveillance for several months.

In December 2019, Eastern Vista raised alert on the tailing and surveillance on Cumpio, the latest of a series of such incidents. Eastern Vista believes the harassment on Cumpio are related to the group’s human rights reporting.

On January 31, an unidentified person reportedly visited the premises of the Eastern Vista office. He was reportedly carrying a photo of Cumpio and a band of flowers while asking for the exact location of the office. Human rights groups have noted several incidents where state agents sent flowers as a form of death threat and intimidation.

We believe these acts of surveillance and types of harassment on journalists have no place in a democratic state like the Philippines. It is also a country that has enshrined freedom of expression and press freedom in its Constitution. We call on the Philippine government to uphold these principles and rights and immediately release Cumpio. In tandem, the government must also address and resolve cases of harassment, violence and killings against journalists in their country.

Cumpio is the executive director of independent media outfit Eastern Vista and the radio anchor of Lingganay han Kamatuoran. Cumpio is also a broadcaster of community radio Radyo Tacloban.

Cumpio is an active IAWRT member who has participated in our investigative training program, global secretariat launch and the Philippines’ chapter general assembly. Her team reported on Radyo Tacloban, IAWRT’s own mobile disaster community radio project in the city/region.

IAWRT is an international organization of women in media founded in 1951 and has since then worked on gender equality, giving women journalists a voice in the workplace and in media and on journalists’ safety among others. It currently has 14 country chapters and more than 400 members globally.