Achieve gender equality, advance women’s rights

Statement on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television was born in 1951 to promote women’s voices and stories in media and women’s leadership in newsrooms and elsewhere. While women in the world have made great strides, some of our gains have been quickly eroded in the last few years by authoritarian regimes, wars and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. After 72 years, IAWRT continues to campaign for gender equality and justice,  as we have yet to achieve this in many parts of the world.

In countries where our chapters and members are present, women in media experience various difficulties that hamper their progress and leadership:  

·  In Afghanistan, women journalists have been denied the right to practise their profession and are subject to violence from the Taliban. Many have been forced into hiding or into exile in other countries, to safeguard their lives. 

·  In the Philippines, women journalists are subjected to various state-sponsored attacks and threats such as raids and arrests, surveillance and online harassment. The youngest jailed journalist in the world, Frenchie Mae Cumpio, hails from this country. Several also experience sexual harassment in the workplace.

·  In Nepal, women journalists still face challenges in the workplace due to gender discrimination. The current global pandemic, COVID-19, has further exacerbated the challenges faced by women journalists. Many media organizations are facing financial constraints and job cuts, leading to an increase in joblessness among journalists, including women.

·  In India, women journalists and media persons face challenges to freedom of expression, including online attacks, state surveillance, and self-censorship by media houses.

These are the enormous odds we are up against. That’s why as an organization, we persist despite the difficulties we have faced in recent years. Our collective efforts and unity, our sisterhood and camaraderie, will surmount many obstacles in our quest for gender justice.

Women comprise half the world’s population but have not gotten the same share of the pie in most aspects of life. We echo the UN Women’s call this International Women’s Day (IWD) to “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress.”

We join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. We join hands with all our sisters as we continue to fight for our rights and for a world with gender equality.