0925 unesco survey

Inviting women journalists to answer this survey and also share to fellow women journalists

On September 24, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) launch a global survey to assess the scale of online violence targeting women journalists around the world, and to help identify solutions to the pernicious problem. 

Online violence – which includes threats of sexual assault and murder, harassment, abuse, privacy breaches and digital security attacks – is injuring women journalists, chilling their reporting, and in some cases forcing them out of the profession altogether. The risk of online violence spilling offline is also significant, and there is growing evidence connecting online attacks with offline violence against women journalists.


For inquiries, and access to the survey, please contact:

You may also contact [email protected] for a link of the survey in either English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese or French.







0924 csw65

NGO CSW announced that in light of COVID-19, the NGO CSW65 Forum in March 2021 will be virtual


The sixty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65) will take place at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York from 15 to 26 March 2021.


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.


On September 24, NGO CSW announced that CSW65 will push through via a virtual platform.  


What is the theme of CSW65?

  • Priority theme: Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls;
  • Review theme: Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the sixtieth session)


This year’s CSW64 was cancelled In the light of concerns regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Countries were just then enforcing border controls, travel bans and lockdown as COVID-19 was characterized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic on March 11.


The main focus of the session should have been the review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 25 years after and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly held in June 2020 after five years.


The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) convened on March 9 for a meeting that included opening statements followed by the adoption of the draft Political Declaration. Various events to commemorate the 25th anniversary of The Fourth World Conference on Women that took place in Beijing were still organized and held, mostly virtually.


It was also decided in March that Beijing +25 discussions will take place as a Multi-Stakeholder Hearing on July 21 and High-Level Meeting on September 23 as part of the UN General Assembly events.


Submission of written statements for CSW65 will be open for NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC from 25 September to 16 October 2020.



UN 75th year

Meanwhile, the UN marked its 75th year with a high-level event via virtual format on September 21, the date earlier agreed upon by member states. The event’s theme was: The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism’.


World leaders in the General Assembly gathered to adopt a declaration “honouring the multilateral framework put in place by its founders in 1945 and pledging to better live out the promise to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.”


Read the Declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations.”

The declaration lays down 12 succinct commitments to reanimate global resolve:  leave no one behind, protect the planet, promote peace, abide by international law, place women and girls at the centre, build trust, improve digital cooperation, upgrade the United Nations, ensure sustainable financing, boost partnerships, work with youth, and, finally, be prepared.



0922 iawrt ph statement fi

A call to stop the attacks against media

IAWRT Philippines Chapter shares a statement on the state of press freedom and situation of women journalists 48 years after the declaration of Martial law (that effectively lasted for 14 years) in the country


We view with deepening concern the state of press freedom in our country.

Media died on September 23, 1972, the day President Marcos aired a declaration of Martial Law [SG1] throughout the nation. (The deed already done, Proclamation 1081 was signed on September 21, 1972.) Except for a crony press, all media were shut down and hundreds of journalists tagged as “subversives” were thrown into prison caused by the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during that period.

Fast forward to today, almost forty-eight years later, and amid the pandemic, the dark times of Philippine history are repeating itself. The use of draconian or militarist measures to muzzle freedom of expression in the country, the recent signing of the Anti-Terror Law and its chilling effect on media are no stranger to Filipinos, especially those who have experienced the horrors of Martial Law in 1972.

There is no let-up in maliciously tagging critical media as “terrorist” or supporting terrorism. Even before this, summary extrajudicial killings have hit journalists hard. 

Fourteen journalists have already been killed. Many more are red-tagged, harassed, and put under surveillance. Even the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) has been called a “communist front.” A renewal of the franchise of media giant ABS-CBN was turned down and thousands of employees lost their jobs. Rappler and Philippine Daily Inquirer have been slapped with charges of libel and tax evasion. Alternative media outfits like Bulatlat, Kodao, Pinoy Weekly, AlterMidya and Northern Dispatch have been cyberattacked.

Our women colleagues in media have not been spared. The prevailing misogyny enabled by leaders in the country, put the women in media in the line of fire.

IAWRT Philippines’ very own members, Frenchie Mae Cumpio and Elena Tijamo, were targets of attacks. For exposing military abuses against farmers in their region, Frenchie of Radyo Tacloban was arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms. Elena of Radyo Sugbuanon was abducted by suspected military agents in her home and is still missing up to this day.

Other names, and mostly community journalists, that were either arrested, harassed or subjected to fabricated charges included Anne Krueger of Pahimutad, Kim Quitasol of Nordis, Gie Herrera of Radyo Natin-Guimba, and Chinkay Porquia of Radyo Sugidanon.

The Anti-Terror Law is a threat to democracy and must be scrapped. The Constitution of the Philippines has been explicit that no law shall be passed abridging the human rights of every Filipino including their freedom of expression

The escalation of human rights violations, including the muzzling of the press, has no place in our society especially in this time of the pandemic. So many dreadful things are happening in the country today such as increasing state violence and the plunder of public funds that only a free press can uncover and keep our people duly informed.

In this light, we call on our members to up their vigilance, call on the government to stop the attacks against journalists and other persons, and release all political prisoners, including journalists. No matter the obstacles, we must continue to keep the fire of press freedom burning in our hearts and soul. Never again shall we allow the abuses that happened during Martial Law happen. Never shall we forget.


IAWRT Philippines Chapter held an online protest and solidarity gathering for Ph journalists, IAWRT members who were jailed, charged, harassed or missing on September 19.
0719 iawrt ph webinar for website fi

IAWRT Philippines holds online protest and solidarity gathering for Ph journalists, IAWRT Ph members who were jailed, charged, harassed or missing

The online protest is on Sep 19, 2020 05:00 PM in Manila

by Lady Ann Salem


IAWRT Philippines is holding an online protest to call attention on the cases of Philippine women journalists, also IAWRT members, who were either jailed, charged, harassed or missing. Some of them will share their situation in the protest.


Among the speakers is Krisma Nina Porquia, community broadcaster for Radyo Sugidanon. She was arrested, detained and charged while covering a peaceful protest on May 1 condemning the killing of Jory Porquia, her father, a well-known activist, environmentalist and relief volunteer in Iloilo City. She was released, along with other journalists who were also arrested. All the protesters were arrested and also released after posting bail.

Human rights group Karapatan Cebu will speak on the community radio broadcaster Elena Tijamo who continues to be missing to this day.  Elena “Lina” Tijamo, 58, was forcibly taken from her home in Barangay Kampingganon, Bantayan, Cebu in the evening of June 13. Suspected Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) elements—four armed masked men in civilian clothes accompanied by two women—held back family members while they covered Tijamo’s mouth with tape, tied her hands, and took her away. The lockdown in the country, specifically the extension/re-imposition of the lockdown in Cebu, prevented her family and groups to be able to look for her right away. Tijamo was able to make calls to her family only to tell them to take down posts about her abduction or else her captors said they would not release her.

Kim Quitasol, journalist of Baguio-based community paper NORDIS, and Gie Herrera, station manager of Radyo Natin Guimba, would share the origins and updates of separate libel cases filed against their media outfits during the pandemic and lockdown in the country.

Anne Krueger, a community journalist from Bacolod-based publication Panghimutad, was arrested along with 60 others in simultaneous office raids on progressive groups and independent media offices that police said yielded guns and explosives on October 31, 2019. Human rights groups and counsels for accused said the evidence were planted. Krueger was detained and charged and was only released after posting bail.

Counsel for Frenchie Mae Cumpio, executive director of Tacloban-based community publication Eastern Vista, is sought to share updates on Cumpio’s case. Cumpio was arrested on February this year, in a similar fashion as Krueger – a search warrant for their office served in a raid conducted in the wee hours of the day and the raid yielding “planted evidence.” Unlike Krueger, Cumpio was not allowed to post bail and continues to be incarcerated to this day.

Veteran journalist Luz Rimban will discuss the state of press freedom in the Philippines.

 Rhea Padilla will share a message from Altermidya, the network of alternative media outfits in the Philippines.

IAWRT Philippines chapter President Lynda Garcia said the event is “timely and needed” as harassment against journalists did not abate pre-COVID-19 lockdown up to present.

IAWRT members from different parts of the world will share solidarity messages: IAWRT President Violet Gonda, IAWRT USA President Sheila Dallas-Katzman, IAWRT Uganda President Eunice Kasirye, IAWRT Nepal President Montessori Rajbhandari and former IAWRT India Managing Trustee Nupur Basu.

To join, you may register here:


0912 shaheena fi

Statement and report from the Coalition for Women in Journalism

Shaheena Shaheen Baloch, a journalist with PTV Bolan was brutally murdered in Turbat, Balochistan in Pakistan.

Shaheena was allegedly shot twice to unsurvivable injuries by what the Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) has found to be her husband.

Shaheena was the editor of a Balochi Magazine Razgahar (Saheli). She was also an activist and artist who was vocal about human rights and women’s rights issues. Four years ago, Shaheena worked as an anchor and morning show host at PTV Bolan – Pakistan Television Network’s regional service based in Quetta, Balochistan.

The CFWIJ is devastated and furious with this killing of a woman journalist in Pakistan. In the last 10 months, this is the second murder documented by CFWIJ in the country.

“We demand authorities in Pakistan – both Balochistan and the federal government – to swiftly investigate the case and punish Shaheena’s murderer,” said CFWIJ.

From CFWIJ’s findings, according to a press release issued by Turbat police, Amjad Raheem – Shaheena’s maternal uncle – has filed a first information report (FIR) against Shaheena’s husband Mehrab Ghichki. Reports and FIR suggest that she was brought to the Teaching Hospital in Turbat by her husband, but could not survive the injuries. After killing Shaheena at his uncle’s residence in the PTCL Colony, Mehrab drove her in a car and dropped her at the hospital. He then left the car at the scene and fled. This information was shared by district Keech’s superintendent police Najeeb Panjrani within the press release. The police have alerted all the checkpoints across Turbat to apprehend the culprit.

CFWIJ member Maria Memon, while reporting on this, spoke to SP [superintendent of police] Turbat, who said that Shaheena’s husband killed her. The two had attempted court marriage. While reports suggest it’s a case of honor killing, the police have not confirmed it as such yet, because they are still investigating the murderer’s motive.

Shaheena’s culprit must not be spared at any cost. She actively campaigned for gender equality and women empowerment through her work. While the murder is being linked to honor killing, it sets a dangerous precedent for women journalists working in Balochistan, where press freedom and women’s rights continue to be violated on varied occasions – CFWIJ

“This is a case of unprecedented magnitude. A woman journalist has yet again been murdered in Pakistan. The perpetrator is a man in her life. This has happened in a province where security agencies have great hold yet fail to maintain law and order. The state continues to do nothing about the violations women face in the country. If perpetrators are punished for the violations and murders of women in the country, these violations would stop,” said our founding director Kiran Nazish. “The state of Pakistan has a duty to its female populace and absolutely needs to look into this matter immediately.”

“We pray for Shaheena’s soul. She worked with PTV Bolan four years ago and was currently running her own publication in Turbat,” said Ayyub Babai, the General Manager at PTV Bolan.


Shazia Ahmed, an activist and one of Shaheena’s acquaintances, spoke with CFWIJ on call. She said that Shaheena’s murder has left her devastated.

“The lack of rule of law is the reason why it is so easy for a man to kill his wife and get away with it. We cannot call it honor killing and wrap up the issue. It is very important for the perpetrator to be punished. Women in our part of the world, especially in Balochistan are still not treated as equals. They are only respected if they stay at home or only step out for domestic chores. The minute a woman attempts to work as a professional, questions are raised and she is immediately labelled,” she said.

Shazia recalled mentoring Shaheena during a journalism training back in 2013. This was the first time she had met her. Shazia added that Shaheena was a talented journalist and an artist. She used her journalistic voice and  artistic skills to advocate for the rights of Baloch women.

“Shaheena was an inspiration for women and young girls in Balochistan. She was the editor-in-chief of a publication which shed light on crucial issues related to women rights in our society. This proved how passionate she was to work for the betterment of Baloch women. Her artwork also depicted their struggles. Balochistan already has very few female artists, but the way Shaheena portrayed the issues women in our province faced was something I have never seen anyone else attempt. The void left after Shaheena’s murder, both in journalism and art, can never be filled,” Shazia said.

CFWIJ demands authorities in Balochistan to find Shaheena’s murderer and punish him for the heinous crime he has committed. The murderer should not be allowed to get away with the crime at any cost.


0906 globay day of action

Malaya Movement and Defend Negros spearhead the Global Day of Action Against the Killings of Human Rights Defenders.

Europe event moderated by IAWRT President Violet Gonda and US-Canada event moderated by IAWRT USA chapter President Sheila Dallas-Katzman.

The Global Day of Action Against the Killings of Human Rights Defenders is in response to the series of killings of activists and human rights defenders in the Philippines since the Anti-Terrorism Law took effect.

The meeting will be joined by partners from the frontlines in the Philippines who will speak about Zara Alvarez, Randall Echanis, Jory Porquia and others who were recently killed, as well as discuss the overall human rights situation in the Philippines.


Advocates from Europe will join the online gathering is on September 7, 2020 11:00 AM in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna. IAWRT President Violet Gonda will be the moderator for said event.


The gathering for advocates from US and Canada will be held on Sep 7, 2020 09:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada). IAWRT USA President Sheila Dallas-Katzman will be the moderator for the said event.