0504 positive africa

Join women journalists and media executives from Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana and Uganda on May 4, 6pm EAT

IAWRT Uganda and IAWRT International will hold a media engagement under the theme Positive Media for Mother Africa.

This is a maiden step in creating a network of Africa women champions for intentional and deliberate salvation of Africa from negative publicity.

IAWRT President Violet Gonda from UK/Zimbabwe will share a message while IAWRT USA chapter head Sheila Dallas-Katzman will give the keynote speech.



The gathering is also part of the observance of World Press Freedom Day 2021. 



Africa and her people have always been looked down upon by western nations for centuries with a perception of backwardness, tribalism and incapability to develop by her own with her people. General Negative media publicity linked to poverty, inhumane savage culture, diseased and conclusively a Dark-Continent define mother Africa. The paradigm setting is largely created by the media narratives since the media is the giant in setting opinions, point of information reference and forms perceptions. But how much has Africa and her people have contributed to the negative narratives and what has Africa done to counter the foreign negative portrayal.


Branson and Stafford (1999) clearly put it that, the stereotypes shape the media narratives about Africa, it is important to remember that stereotypes play an important role in making sense of the world which are not necessarily lies. We all use characterizations of people and places and belong to groups which can be stereotyped. However, it is the multitude of negativity, which is the contentious issue here.


It is upon this background that International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Uganda Chapter is challenging Africa and her people to become deliberate and intentional at focusing on the strength and positive strides to rebuild the motherland pride within and without. 



The event will be livestreamed on IAWRT Facebook pages and IAWRT Youtube channel.



To register, contact [email protected] 

0430 may 3 poster image for featured news

IAWRT in partnership with the Journalism and Media International Center of Oslo Met University, and in collaboration with UNESCO-Jakarta will hold an online protest action on May 3. This is in response to the many human rights violations worldwide that put the lives of journalists at risk.

We will hear about situations, challenges and resolutions from journalists from Asia and from UNESCO Jakarta:

  • Maria Ressa, Rappler CEO and UN Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Prize Awardee 2021
  • Najiba Ayubi, Killid Group Founder and IWMF Courage in Journalism Awardee 2013
  • Chan Thiri Soe, Democratic Voice of Burma 
  • Lady Ann Salem, former political detainee, Manila Today editor and IAWRT Communication Officer
  • Ming-Kuok LimUNESCO Jakarta Advisor for Communication and Information

Janess Ann Ellao of Bulatlat.com will serve as moderator.

IAWRT President Violet Gonda will give the opening remarks.

IAWRT members from India, Nepal and Pakistan will also share messages of solidarity.

IAWRT Philippines will lead the online protest.



0427 Happiness class

The film will stream online from April 28 8am IST to May 3 8am IST

IAWRT India chapter head’s documentary film on the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ introduced in Delhi government schools in 2018.

Those who want to see the film may do so for this limited time period at this link: https://vimeo.com/539152685.

Mishra’s film was commissioned by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility to be made a year after the ‘Happines Curriculum’ was introduced.

Happiness Curriculum is an educational program for children in grades 1 to 8 in the schools run by the Government of Delhi in India since July 2018 and was thought to be a reformative step in school education in India.

This tied to the filmmaker’s own personal interests and body of work.

“My work is mostly around the ideas of childhood, and I also write for children and work with them using the arts. I am interested in making space for children’s voices to be heard in mainstream spaces and for adults to pay attention to children’s experiences instead of merely speaking on their behalf,” Mishra said.

The objective of the Happiness Curriculum is to improve the mental well-being of pupils. The curriculum is based on philosophies of thinkers and educationists such as Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Jiddu Krishnamurthy. The curriculum also includes concepts about self and relationships with family, society and nature.

The curriculum employs techniques such as mindfulness, reflective stories, interactive activities, and expression to equip pupils with the necessary skills and mindsets to answer the following questions: What makes me happy? How can I be an instrument in other people’s happiness?

The film was shot before the pandemic and the rough cut was finished two weeks before the lockdown was announced in India.

“The film lay still for 6 months or so. I think this did help the film – I had always thought of using animation but because I could not shoot any more, the way I used the animation changed,” the director shared.

While work on the film paused and slowed down, Mishra thought her own experience of the pandemic and lockdown influenced both the process while editing continued up to reaching the final film.

Mishra said the film is intended for a general audience because everyone engages with children in different ways.

“What we can understand from their lives can also be applied to our own. So I would hope that a general audience watching the film would understand that children are part of our world, they don’t and can’t be expected to inhabit some segregated corner of it. So in trying to understand the place of happiness or sadness in children’s lives, we can understand it in our own,” she said.

But apart from the general audience, she hopes the film reaches teachers and education policy makers who Mishra feels “need to listen to such voices and pay attention to such experiences.”

What could be one of her greatest takeaways in making the film? That we must strive to create beauty with kindness and grace.

“I felt privileged to be working on something that I really wanted to in this terrible time of deprivation and difficulty. So, I think gratitude for the people we work with, including those whose stories we tell, and for the pleasure that work we believe in brings to our lives is really important,” she said.

And so, the filmmaker thanks her fabulous crew.

“Tenzin Kunchok, Anish Pavitran, Nitasha Kapahi, Dilip Chaudhari and I did the shooting and sound. Tenzin also did the editing which was spread over many months. The animation has been done by Alia Sinha. Shireen Ghosh did the music along with an original rap song by a group of young boys who create music under the name of Dean Swag X Kranti Ke. Sameera Jain made valuable inputs as consulting editor, the sound mix was done by Asheesh Pandya and colour correction by Sonu Singh,” said Mishra.

The film’s producer is Rajiv Mehrotra of Foundation for Universal Responsibility and the film was given additional financial support from Mekin Maheshwari of Udhyam Learning Foundation. 

The online screening is accompanied by a webinar with the filmmaker and education practitioners, scheduled on April 30, 6pm IST. Register here.

Guest speakers include Rajiv Mehrotra of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility and Mekhim Maheshwari of Udhyam Learning Foundation. Panelists include Vikram Bhat, Poonam Batram, Mani Mishra and the filmmaker, Samina. Prachi Kalra will serve as event moderator.

For more information, check out the film’s page on Facebook.

0426 un webinar flyer

Last day to apply for Consultative status on June 1


The event will be held on-line on 5 May 2021 at 11am (New York Time) and will be conducted in English.




The NGO Branch is pleased to invite interested NGOs to an informational session about the application process for ECOSOC consultative status. 


The meeting will provide answers to the following questions:

  • What is Consultative Status, which organizations are eligible and what are its benefits?
  • How the entire application process works since the application is submitted to the NGO Branch until ECOSOC makes its decision?
  • What are the main components of the application package?

After the presentation, the floor will be open to answer questions from participants. Such questions may be raised either by chat or by requesting the floor using the Raise my Hand option.


In order to attend to the webinar kindly click here and fill out the registration form; a confirmation e-mail will follow at a later stage with the instructions on how to log into the event.


Interested NGOs that do not have ECOSOC Consultative Status can register at: https://bit.ly/2NPGHfI 


Webinar Details: https://bit.ly/2PqdHfc 


Webinar Flyer: http://bit.ly/DESAflyer  

0415 FINAL Iawrt May 3 poster

Defend press freedom, defend freedom of expression


Join IAWRT on May 3, 5pm Manila time via Zoom




On World Press Freedom Day, IAWRT in partnership with the Journalism and Media International Center of Oslo Met University, and in collaboration with UNESCO-Jakarta will hold an online protest action.


The protest theme in Defending Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression, in response to continuing attacks on journalists and human rights violations that put the lives of journalists at risk.



“Harassment of journalists not only affects media practitioners but shortchanges citizens who depend on the media to provide a critical service in society – denying people access to truth.”


IAWRT members around the world have themselves been subjected to attacks.


Enikass Radio and Television reporter and IAWRT Afghanistan member Malalai Maiwand and her driver were killed on December 10, 2020.


On the same day, Manila Today editor and IAWRT Communication officer Lady Ann Salem was arrested on planted evidence and trumped up charges that were dismissed on February 5, leading to her release on March 5.


However, Eastern Vista editor and IAWRT Philippines member Frenchie Mae Cumpio is still detained since February 7, 2020 on similar patterns of arrest and charges as Salem.


The online protest action is an act of solidarity among IAWRT’s hundreds of members in more than 40 countries as the world continues to struggle in the grip of pandemic, that has also impacted on many freedoms and rights, even press freedom.


The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day, observed to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


To register, contact [email protected].


0416 iawrt on nujp article

Kath Cortez, Len Olea and Lady Ann Salem elected to 15-member National Directorate.

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines held hybrid online and offline congress. 

by Reynard Magtoto


IAWRT’s Communication Officer and Manila Today Editor Lady Ann Salem also known as Icy is one of the 15 elected members’ National Directorate of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) less than a month after her release.


Two other IAWRT members were elected to the Union’s new Board. The elected IAWRT members include Kathyrine Cortez, elected Vice Chairperson and Ronalyn Olea for the post of Secretary-general.


Salem’s election to the two-year term national directorate less than a month after her release from prison over trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms, is a living testament that journalism is never a crime.


Icy, along with labor organizer Rodrigo Esparago, was arrested during simultaneous raids on Dec. 10, 2020 and was charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives. A local court in Mandaluyong City rendered invalid the search warrant used for the arrests, and consequently ordered her release after three months in prison. Upon her election, Icy commits to take lead in NUJP’s Commission on Women Journalists with stronger unity among members of the union.


Icy was not the first IAWRT member to be imprisoned. Frenchie Mae Cumpio was also arrested over a year back and is still under prison detention. However, NUJP vowed to continue pushing for the release of Frenchie Mae Cumpio, who remains in detention over the same trumped-up charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives as Icy was.


Also to note, is that, the Eastern Vista Executive Director Cumpio was also labeled as a “propagandist for the communists” for telling the stories of the marginalized communities in the Eastern Visayas region. Cumpio’s continued detention in Tacloban City, and the killings of 19 journalists under the Duterte administration prove that these are not idle threats therefore the need to consistent robust demand for freedom of expression and uncensored media.


NUJP continues to strongly condemn the red-tagging of its members, colleagues, and of the organization itself. The Union emphasize the vow to step up its campaign against such malicious efforts, and hold responsible those behind these systematic attacks against Filipino Journalists.


Meanwhile the election of the new NUJP National Directorate members follows a concluded nationwide and global union of Filipino Journalists Congress held earlier this month on the 11th in a blended platform that gathered more than a hundred members from 34 chapters in the country and from the Middle East and Europe last March 20-21.


The election of International Association of Women in Radio & Television (IAWRT) members on the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) national Directorate is positive move in making the Union stronger to fight for press freedom and journalists’ safety and as well as welfare.

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan calling for a peaceful transition of power with respect to the rights of everyone, especially women and girls.

IAWRT calls upon the international community to ensure that the rights of women and girls are respected, with special regard to women journalists and media professionals.

Threats and attacks against women journalists and media professionals, including our colleagues and fellow members in Afghanistan, have increased sharply in recent months since the withdrawal of allied forces from Afghanistan. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), there is a long list of journalists who have received death threats, driving many underground or to leave the country altogether. 

The declining security situation poses a serious threat to the achievements of the last two decades regarding freedom of expression and threatens to push back decades of hard-won progress for women and girls who are now terrified of a return to a repressive past under the Taliban. 

“There are many journalists and female social activists whose lives hang in the balance and whose stories may never be told as the Taliban takes over – once again. These are the brave women who challenged the status quo fighting for fundamental rights, but have been left behind while terror strikes,” says IAWRT President Violet Gonda.

IAWRT, therefore, calls on the following:

  • The current leadership must guarantee the safety of women journalists, media professionals, and activists in Afghanistan.
  • Women’s organizations around the world should join in solidarity to call for the freedom of women journalists, media professionals, and activists in Afghanistan.
  • The international community should immediately facilitate visas for Afghan journalists and media professionals, especially women and their families including elderly dependents and minor children.
  • In light of the rapidly deteriorating situation at the airport and in the city, there should be protection provided for Afghan civilians being airlifted – from their homes till they reach the airport terminal building.
  • The international community must continue its engagement in brokering peace in Afghanistan.