Former IAWRT President Gundel Krauss Dahl passed away on February 13, 2022

Tribute from IAWRT Norway

Gundel’s voice, so often cheerful, enthusiastic and wise, will never be heard again. On February 13, she died suddenly and surprisingly. After 88 years her heart took its last beat. 

Gundel, married to Arne for 68 years, was blessed with three children, several grandchildren, and (nearly) three great-grandchildren. To her family and friends, she was known as «grandma». That is how she often presented herself. «I am grandma», she would say. But she was also a woman with a sharp intellect and a big heart, and she took a real interest in people. She always had time. We are many who have felt her warmth. 

Gundel leaves a great legacy behind. In 1958 she started working for NRK Radio, and for over 30 years she was NRK’s voice in the broadcasts abroad or the «seaman´s radio» as it was also called. Later she was entrusted with several management positions in NRK Radio and was also engaged in training new radio voices.

In the 1970´s Gundel became a strong promoter of international cooperation for female journalists. It started when she was encouraged by the then German president of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) to join the then 20-year-old organization. 

But at first, she was skeptical. She believed that there was no need for a separate organization for media women. But the NRK director thought it would be valuable for the broadcaster to be represented in an international organization that worked to promote women’s participation both in and through the media. Hence NRK paid for Gundel’s membership and covered conference costs. 

At the conferences, Gundel experienced firsthand the strength of the organization’s network and the opportunities that this entailed. She became part of a professional network that gave her both personal contacts and long-lasting friendships. The members shared knowledge and experiences, and in collaboration with other organizations, they could provide members with access to internships and scholarships. They also engaged in projects for women beyond the organization, such as providing women in Nepal with access to information about their rights through the media.

This work became deeply meaningful for Gundel, and IAWRT shaped a large part of her life in the years to come. Until her death she has been an important resource for the organization and a great role model for us who have followed. When she became IAWRT’s President in 1997, she took important steps to secure funding for the organization and its operations. Not all members from Asia and Africa had bosses who paid for their participation. Gundel formed the IAWRT’s first national chapter in Norway. And as a Norwegian women’s organization, IAWRT Norway could become a member of the umbrella organization FOKUS, which secured funding for 20 years.

Without this support, the organization would not have been what it is today. We are many who have a lot to thank Gundel for. She will be deeply missed.

Born on 17th November 1933, Gundel passed away on Monday 14th February 2022 at the age of 88 years.

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) is deeply saddened to announce the death of one of the organisation’s senior members – Gundel Krauss Dahl from Norway.

Gundel joined IAWRT in 1970 and was the President from 1997-2001. She spearheaded the partnership with the Norwegian organisation FOKUS, which resulted in significant projects for media women, especially in the Global South, for   20 years.

As one of the editors of the book on the history of IAWRT, Gundel talks about how this work became an integral part of her life. “The network of  friends and colleagues around the world became important both professionally and on a personal level.”

“I made it my job to convince the funding agencies in Norway that IAWRT was worth supporting and that core funding was necessary for the association to develop in a democratic, global and professional direction,” Gundel wrote in the book “The Story of IAWRT.”

Gundel was the founder of IAWRT Norway Chapter and will be remembered for her unstinting desire to help female broadcasters. She wanted IAWRT to make a significant impact around the world.

Tributes from the IAWRT network

IAWRT President Violet Gonda remembers Gundel as a dedicated veteran member who did so much for IAWRT. “I am so sorry to hear this. Gundel continued to be one of my mentors. She pushed me from a very young age to be more active in the organisation and until the very end she continued to share feedback, guidance, encouragement and support. I have lost both a friend and a mentor.”

“Gundel was an inspiration to all of us.» Kristine Ramm, Head of IAWRT Norway,

“This is very sad news. She was such a great enthusiast of IAWRT and was always there to give feedback and advice,” Greta Gober, IAWRT Vice President.

“So sad to learn of the passing  of Gundel, a senior member of IAWRT. My sincere condolences to IAWRT Norway and the entire IAWRT family,” Eunice Kasirye, Secretary, IAWRT Board & Uganda Chapter Head.

“This is really shocking news. May she rest in peace,” Jola Diones-Mamangun, Treasurer, IAWRT Board.

“I have known Gundel since 2007 but remember our deep conversation during the 2015 Biennial. I met her at the airport when I was returning to Kathmandu. I still remember her concern and happiness for Nepal chapter’s progress. Her love for IAWRT was so pure and foresighted,” Mandira Raut, IAWRT Board member.

“Deeply saddened to read the news about Gundel. She combined a rare grace with wit, charm and intelligence. She loved engaging with members from different countries and backgrounds and gave of her wisdom freely. She will be missed,” Reena Mohan, IAWRT Board Member.

“Very sad. Sincere condolences to her family. May her soul rest in peace,” Montessori Rajbhandari, Nepal Chapter Head.

‘Sad to hear. Rest in peace, Gundel. Sincere condolences on behalf of IAWRT Tanzania,” Fatuma Matulanga, Tanzania Chapter Head.

“Sincere condolences. May her family find peace during this difficult period,” Josephine Karani, Kenya Chapter Head.

“A woman I revered. May her memory be a blessing to all who mourn. A champion is gone. May she Rest in Peace,” Sheila Dallas-Katzman, USA Chapter Head.

“Sincere condolences from all of us here. Thinking of her friendship with Jai and of these strong women from an earlier generation who made so much more possible for us who came later. May she rest in peace.” Samina Mishra, India Chapter Head.

“Oh no. That’s really sad…my heartfelt condolences to her family. It’s a big loss to the IAWRT family. May she rest in peace,” Nupur Basu, India Chapter member.

IAWRT will always honour Gundel’s contribution to the growth of the organisation. 

This one-pager is from a study produced by IAWRT Afghanistan with Internews.

IAWRT Tanzania members met under the theme: Media and Covid 19: Vaccination and its impact on Women.

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT)-Tanzania Chapter held its first activity on 27th November 2021 through the Zoom platform. The activity, a training session, symbolized the revival of the Chapter after a long period of inactivity. The members met under the theme: Media and Covid 19: Vaccination and its impact on Women.

Over 48 female journalists from different media organizations participated in the training during which they learned about the ideas on how to prevent Covid-19 and its subsequent remedies for the betterment of society.  

IAWRT Tanzania Chapter President Fatuma Matulanga and IAWRT Tanzania Board Member Raziah Mwawanga co-chaired the two-hour training session. Different topics on Covid-19 were covered by experts from various sectors including those from the University of Dar es Salaam, Ministry of Health (Tanzania Mainland as well as Zanzibar). Specialists from Khoja Leadership Forum also graced the session.  

As a moderator, Matulanga kick-started the occasion by defining IAWRT and its role in society with its connection to female media practitioners and women in general. The aim of such a background was to prepare the participants to understand the purpose of the training session.  

Matulanga further expressed the hope that the training would create awareness for female journalists on the issues surrounding Covid-19 and that such knowledge would later be imparted on the local masses. Topics on Covid-19 vaccination and other remedial measures were also tackled.    

In his elaborate presentation, Dr. Ali Said Nyanga Director of Prevention and Health Education from Zanzibar Health Ministry outlined measures by the Government of Zanzibar in the combating Covid-19 pandemic. Among other areas, Dr. Nyanga disclosed that the Government of Zanzibar had put in place measures that ensured that vaccines were readily available in villages and other community set-ups for citizens to easily access them. 

The Director also hinted that civic education was being pursued for people to get acquainted on the proper use of face masks, keeping social distance, using sanitizers, regular hand washing, and vaccination. 

Another paper was presented by Lotalis Gadau, an officer for Immunization Program and Vaccine Development from Tanzania Ministry of Health. Gadau emphatically stated that the Government remained committed to ensuring that all Tanzanians were safe from Covid 19. She said Government through the Ministry of Health was actively educating the people on preventive measures and the importance of taking the Covid-19 vaccination.

She elaborated that civic education was being carried out through various media platforms; not least amongst them: community gatherings, radio and TV programs, brochures, and social media among others.

Dr. Riyaz Hassanali, the Vaccine Coordinator for Khoja Leadership Forum also contributed during the Zoom meeting.  The United States-based, Dr. Hassanali who also coordinated the vaccination programme in Zanzibar in 2021 observed that 100-percent of the Shia Community successfully got vaccinated.

In turn, said Dr. Hassanali the Forum moved on to other communities with civic education and vaccination with more doses freely donated. Dr. Hassanali, however, noted despite efforts to reach out to as many people as possible, the challenge of negativity and wrong perception prevailed; and this led to slow progress.

He disclosed that by November 2021, about 25,000 doses of Sputnik Vaccine were distributed and administered in Zanzibar; thanks to civic education and proper coordination. Further, Dr. Hassanali challenged female journalists to take a leading role in raising vibrant awareness on issues related to the Covid-19 vaccination.

The importance of Covid-19 vaccines that helps to strengthen the immune system was tackled by a lecturer from the University of Dar es Salaam.  A biologist himself, Dr. Daniel Maeda warned that those who were denying vaccination were putting their lives at risk. He however observed that issues of denial for vaccines were not new in society because they historically existed for over 200 years when people refused to take small pox vaccine. But he said the most important thing was for female journalists to educate the people on the importance of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“So, I strongly advise you, female journalists, to cooperate with the Government and other key stakeholders in pursuing an energetic and effective civic education drive for people to get vaccinated against Covid 19” he remarked.    

Rashid Kejo, Executive Editor of Mwananchi Communication (newspaper), and Rose Haji Mwalimu, a Communications expert jointly observed how stranded journalists were at the time Covid-19 broke out in Tanzania in 2019. 

Kejo noted how sketchy Covid-19 information became when the pandemic broke out and how uncertain journalists became over this. Kejo noted that with a lack of proper information, journalists could not obtain proper statistics that would help me to accurately write their stories.

In her contribution, Rose Mwalimu said currently the situation is different because the society has almost opened up and experts are able to talk to the media about Covid-19; and that this has helped the female journalists to produce some stories on Covid-19. She also hailed the stand taken by the current Government of Tanzania for its keenness in dealing with the pandemic.

 And later in her remarks, IAWRT President Fatuma Matulanga called for joint efforts in dealing with Covid-19. Matulanga urged female journalists in Tanzania to work in collaboration with other stakeholders to achieve the intended goal. She noted that vaccination is important because as disclosed by health specialists, vaccination lowers new risks of infection by over 96-percent.

Participants in the Zoom training session provided feedback with over seventy-five percent of them describing it as an excellent move. They hailed it not only as fruitful but also as an eye-opener. This, therefore, means that IAWRT Tanzania Chapter succeeded in training female journalists on matters of Covid-19 pandemic by providing them with relevant knowledge and skills.

The first IAWRT activity has been described as a victory for the chapter leadership as well as the general membership. The Chapter also looks forward to having more of such events in the near future; with a diversified touch when even foreign facilitators could be engaged. It is hoped that many female journalists will be forthcoming.

IAWRT Afghanistan Chapter President Najiba Ayubi did not think at first to leave the country. But when the Taliban showed outside her door, she started to think about how to get her whole family to safety.

This is not the first time she had to flee and not the first time armed men showed up at her home, yet she continued her work as a journalist. Now, she is finding ways to do so while in exile. 

As managing director of Killid Group, a non-profit media network that includes two of the country’s most popular magazines (Killid Weekly and Mursal Weekly) and eight radio stations with a total of 12 million listeners, Ayubi has previously experienced threats in line with her work. Her steadfastness and dedication earned her the 2013 Courage in Journalism Award by the International Women’s Media Foundation. She was also named as one of the 100 Information Heroes by Reporters Without Borders. 

In her program ‘Hot Seat’, IAWRT President Violet Gonda interviews Ayubi about her evacuation ordeal from Aghanistan to Germany and USA. The interview was done in December 2021 and published on February 3, 2022. The International Association of Women in Radio and Television has spent the last few months trying to assist its members to be evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country’s capital Kabul on August 15.