0729 iawrt usa fi

IAWRT USA holds a meeting on banning of gender studies on July 30, 8am New York Time

Gender Studies Scholars across the globe have experienced harassment and are under increasing pressures from forces outside the academy who want to delegitimize the field.

For example in Romania, academics, students, and human rights groups have condemned a new law banning gender identity studies in schools and universities, that has accused Gender Studies departments and scholars of “propagating theories and opinion on gender identity according to which gender is a separate concept from biological sex”.

This event aims to bring together member states, representatives of civil society, academia, policymakers, and journalists to discuss those global attacks on gender studies, the dismantling of critical knowledge, and what a future after COVID-19 would look like.

This event is part of a series of conversations of the 14 chapters of the IAWRT and more than 400 members in 54 countries that strives to meet the urgent global challenges faced by women in and around the media.


Invited speakers include:

Dr. Purma Sen, Executive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Addressing Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination, UN Women

Dr. Carolyn Byerly, Chair, Department of Communication, Culture, and Media Studies, Howard University

Dr. Cosmina Rughinis, Department of Sociology, University of Bucharest, Romania

Dr. Loredana Ivan, Department of Communication, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania

Dr Andrea Pető, Professor, Department of Gender Studies Central European University, Hungary

Dr. Geisa Rodrigues, Professor, Department of Social Communication, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil

Anikó Gregor, Sociologist, assistant professor at Faculty of Social Sciences, ELTE University, Hungary



Dr. Diana Nastasia, Lecturer and Scholar, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville


0725 iawrt usa ph webinar fi

Discussion on current situation, challenges, and the future after the pandemic

On July 22, IAWRT USA and IAWRT Philippines held the first webinar in a series of IAWRT chapter-to-chapter meetings. The topic is “COVID19: The Dilemma for Women, Journalists, and You.”

While it was a joint webinar by two chapters, members from the other 12 chapters of IAWRT as well as international members and the International Board joined the webinar.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists find themselves working in more hostile environments with cyber-attacks, threats, arrests and kidnapping.

·    In the Philippines, we see a rise of cases of media repressions, with the kidnapping of Filipino journalist Elena Tijamo whose whereabouts is still unknown; the continuing detention of community radio journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio, the conviction of Maria Ressa and former journalist Reynaldo Santos Jr.; shutting down of media giant ABS-CBN, vilification campaign against journalists and media outfits that are critical in their reporting, to name a few.

·    In the US, media houses like the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and numerous journalists, have been publicly vilified as “fake news” since 2016. The most derogatory names, too, are assigned to journalists, particularly female journalists for doing their job.

This webinar event discussed the chapters’ current situation, challenges, and the future after the pandemic.

The meeting was moderated by Rebecca Myles, Radio broadcaster AFP/Producer RTV in New York and IAWRT-USA vice president.

The panelists included:

·      – Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Executive Director of Media Innovation Collaboratory / Founder, Trollbusters

·      – Jane Tilman Irving, President, New York Press Club

·      – Frieda Werden, Women’s International News Gathering Service (WINGS)

·      – Margarita Valle, veteran journalist and Vice President of IAWRT Philippines

·      – Ronalyn V. Olea, Managing Editor, Bulatlat

·      – Randy Credico, Comedian/Activist/Radio/TV


Watch the discussion here:



0720 samina

Samina Mishra is the new IAWRT India chapter head


Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and varying quarantine protocols in various countries have implemented, IAWRT’s chapter in India has found a way to pursue their chapter elections.

The elections were well-participated, with 51 of 59 eligible members who voted.



Nine were elected in the Board of Trustees. They have, in turn, elected their office bearers:

Samina Mishra – Managing Trustee

Shikha Jhingan – Secretary

Subasri Krishnan – Treasurer


Other Board members are:

Aparna Sanyal (outgoing Secretary)

Deepika Sharma (outgoing Treasurer)

Nina Sabnani

Padmaja Shaw

Paromita Vohra

Priya Thuvassery


Samina, as managing trustee, is the new chapter head. She is a documentary filmmaker, writer and teacher based in New Delhi, with a special interest in media for and about children. She has been an extremely valuable co-board member in the last Board. She was also part of the organising team of the IAWRT Biennial that was held in India in 2015. Samina has also represented the India chapter at the 2014 IAWRT conference in Nicaragua. 


0718 kumustahan fi

Women’s effort to check on one another amid the quarantine and pandemic


by Margarita Valle


Dubbed as “Kumustahan sa Hulyo” (Meet and Greet in July), 21 members of the IAWRT Philippines came together on July 11, 2020 via an online meeting.


 It was an effort to keep abreast of each member’s conditions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage through the country and the rest of the world.


 Among the matters taken up included a report given by IAWRT Philippines president Lynda Garcia, who appraised the members with the activities undertaken by the organization since the last general assembly on November 7, 2019.


Garcia likewise shared the rest of the activities undertaken by the chapter’s Executive Board that included meeting funding partners and discussed potential projects for IAWRT Philippines.


A brief break during the discussion was spent for “Mindful Breathing” presentation that shared tips on how to ease one’s stress amid this pandemic and the growing unease among women journalist facing the growing political and social tension as of late.


The passing of Anti-Terrorism Law and the non-approval of the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise, the biggest broadcast network in the country, have been major issues that shook Filipino journalists and the Filipino people during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.


The meeting ended with plans of moving forward despite the restrictions due to the pandemic and quarantine, while each one makes a mental note on keeping tab of each other as we continue to fight together to help each other protect our common interest to protect our rights as human beings and as journalists.




Side event to the High Level Political Form

On 9 July, the Feminist and Women’s Movement Action Plan (fwMAP) with co-sponsors Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), NGO CSW/NY and WEDO held a webinar with the title “Imagine a Post-COVID-19 City with Women’s Human Rights.”

The theme was “Accelerated Action and Transformative Pathways Realizing the Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development.” The panel challenged listeners to “imagine how to build resilience to address crisis, make sure womenis leadership is in plance and puts feminist and women’s movements’ aspirations into local action.” 


UN Representative for the International Alliance of Women Soon-Young Yoon and CWGL Executive Director Krishanti Dharmaraj served as moderators.

“Post-COVID will come and the question is can we rebuild ecosystems that will sustain human health and livelihoods starting bottom up, remembering by 2050 or so, more than 75% of humanity is expected to live in cities,” said Soon-Young Yoon.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif (interviewed by Rick Smith), Khara Jabola-Carolus, Bridget Burns, Patricia Cortes, Vera Baboun, Clara Mavogo, Celestine K Courtes, and Melissa Upreti were the panelists.

More than 700 participants registered for the event who were able to participate in polling. The first such poll the participants “What is your priority to seize the moment for a feminist recovery plan for cities?” The choices were Universal health care or coverage, Ensure social protection for all and Climate justice. The results were 22% for Universal health coverage, 12% chose Climate justice and 67% in the meeting chose Ensure social protection for all.

Those who were unable to enter the Zoom room watched via Youtube. Aside from the US, participants in the meeting came from Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria, Brazil, Georgia, Philippines and other countries.

“Women know what the problems are. Women know what the solutions are. Where we are lagging behind, where the greatest challenge is, we don’t have the level of institutional power in all scales that we need to make the transformation. We have made progress over the years. The question is not what the change needs to be, but it is how,” said Melissa Upreti, Vice Chair, UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls, a Special Procedure of the Human Rights Council.

Watch the recording of the meeting here:



0713 dubravka

Exacerbation of gender-based violence against women journalists through digital technologies highlighted

On July 8, 2020, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women Dubravka Šimonović, published her yearly report on combating violence against women journalists (VAWJ) at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The new report “highlights issues such as the exacerbation of gender-based violence against women journalists through digital technologies, the specific types of threats and sexual violence faced by female media workers, intersectional discrimination, harassment in the workplace, as well as the stereotyped roles and sexualized images into which women journalists are often expected to fit.”

The Special Rapporteur recalled that 70 female journalists have been killed in the last decade, according to the UNESCO observatory of killed journalists.

“Women journalists have become increasingly targeted as visible and outspoken representatives of women’s rights,” Šimonović said in a UN Special Procedures news release.

“Much remains to be done, particularly in view of the emerging fundamentalist discourse and the global backlash against women’s rights,” she added.

Šimonović recommended that the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity be furthered through a UN system-wide coordinated approach to combatting and preventing violence against women journalists, involving the Special Rapporteurs on violence against women and on freedom of expression, and the Platform of United Nations and regional independent expert mechanisms on ending discrimination and violence against women.

She also recommended the development of training programmes for police, prosecutors and judges who are responsible for fulfilling State obligations concerning the protection of the rights of women journalists and other media actors.

Finally, she called on States to include a gender perspective in all initiatives aimed at creating and maintaining a safe and favourable environment for free and independent journalism.


0711 pamela

Eat Drink and Be Healthy.

Virtual sessions geared towards living your best life during COVID-19.

Get fit, stay in shape, meditate, eat great, enjoy your favorite oldies but goodies, and performances by award-winning musical artists, all in the comfort of your own home. This is what ‘Living Your Best Life…Virtually!’ is trying to offer amid the COVID-19 pandemic and varying lockdowns and quarantine protocols in areas around the globe.

Rutgers University’s Office of University—Community Partnership’s Advocates for Healthy Living and their Greater Newark Community Partners will hold five weeks of virtual sessions “geared towards living your best life during COVID-19.”

Virtual sessions will be held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 July to 7 August, 2020. Session times may vary.

IAWRT USA member Pamela Morgan is the Moderator of the Monday session. Mondays are for ‘Meditation, Motivation and Music’ that feature guided meditation, motivational/inspirational talk and music therapy.  

Wednesday sessions are on ‘Wellness Workshops’, while Fridays are for ‘Fun, Fitness, Food.’

Pamela Morgan is also the Executive Director of Women in Media-Newark that holds its annual Women’s History Month Film Festival. The 2020 edition of the festival “We Do What We Do Because…” was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please visit https://oucp.newark.rutgers.edu/AHLI-2020/