Kreshma Fakhri

IAWRT International Board member

“We, along with other women active in Afghan media, broke taboos. We demonstrated to Afghan society that women have the right to work, speak out, inform, conduct research, hold the government accountable, and be accountable themselves. Collectively, we, the media in Afghanistan, provided awareness to Afghan women, encouraging them to participate in social activities, learn, work, and contribute to the destiny of their country.”

Kreshma Fakhri replied with these powerful words when asked about her and her media outfit’s contribution to her country. These words are an important reminder of what women in Afghanistan have achieved—but were again starting to lose when the Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021.

“Women working in the media are concerned about their safety, as their presence in the media makes them vulnerable to threats, violence, and detention. Some women now work covertly in the media. Those who are employed are forced to sign agreements ensuring that they do not publish anything contrary to the ruling group’s interests, or else they face legal consequences,” shared Kreshma.

Kreshma believes that not only for Afghanistan journalists but also for journalists anywhere in the world, these challenges present an unprecedented situation.

“Unless there are fundamental changes in Afghanistan’s political system and women are granted their basic rights, the number of women in television and radio will dwindle to zero, which is something that should never happen,” Kreshma said.

After being forced to leave her homeland and coming to Turkey when the Taliban returned to power, Kreshma said she spent some time away from media activities.

“During this period, I tried to collaborate with Afghans who had recently arrived in Turkey, faced language barriers, and were unfamiliar with the environment and society. However, following the collapse of the republic system in Afghanistan, I couldn’t remotely observe the challenging conditions faced by my fellow countrywomen,” said Kreshma.

But she couldn’t stay away from journalism for too long. Kreshma would find a way to continue her work.

“I began my work by preparing a report on the situation of female police officers after the fall of the republic system. This motivated me to be a remote advocate for the voices of women and my compatriots. Eventually, I, along with some colleagues and female reporters, founded Media Zan Times. We endeavored to continue informational activities remotely, writing for both Afghan women and men, and reporting to the world on the challenging circumstances of Afghan women and men living under the security and economic constraints imposed by the Taliban,” Kreshma shared.

Kreshma joined the media industry a long time ago when Afghanistan, after many difficult years, was once again experiencing democracy and freedom of expression.

“Women and girls were going to school, and women’s civil movements were taking shape day by day,” shared Kreshma.

However, some women and girls still did not have access to their basic rights and fell victim to harmful cultural practices.

“Women journalists and media workers in Afghanistan face numerous challenges, and they are deprived of their most fundamental right, which is the right to be seen and heard. They lack access to news sources, and due to cultural and societal constraints, women cannot easily work in the media. They also face sanctions and gender discrimination,” shared Kreshma.

After a year following her graduation from university, she joined the Investigative team of Killid Group.

“In mid-2009, while I was a third-year student majoring in literature at Kabul University, I began my formal career with a local media outlet called Killid Group. Initially, my main responsibilities included news reporting and radio program production. This team, consisting mainly of men, included around ten male colleagues in Kabul and some other provinces, and I was the only young woman who started working in this department,” recalled Kreshma.

She said the primary focus of this team was to investigate and research cases of human rights violations in Afghanistan and cases of administrative corruption.

“At that time, despite the challenges, I managed to work alongside my male colleagues in pursuit of the team’s goals. I started my career in journalism to inform people about the challenges faced by women and to highlight their progress. I wanted to contribute to media work in sharing the experience of democracy and freedom of expression,” Kreshma added.

Apart from gender representation, Kreshma shared that the major challenges she faced were predominantly security-related.

“Working in traditional Afghan society and engaging in investigative journalism within a society and government tainted by administrative, financial, and security corruption was not easy, especially for women. I struggled with numerous security issues and threats and witnessed life-threatening threats against myself,” she shared.

This came to the point that she had to leave Afghanistan in late 2017, before the official launch of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Afghanistan chapter.

While working as an investigative journalist with Killid Group, she joined the Afghanistan chapter of IAWRT, in collaboration with Najiba Ayubi who is the head of Killid Group.

“At that time, Ms. Ayubi, who was a member of the association, aimed to establish the Afghanistan chapter, and I was one of the first individuals to work with her in the process of founding and managing the administrative aspects of the association within Afghan government institutions. I helped in drafting the charter, organizing board meetings, and coordinating administrative affairs. Eventually, we successfully registered the chapter officially within the Afghan Ministry of Justice,” recalled Kreshma.

She continued to follow her chapter’s activities wherever she was.

In 2022, she was elected as IAWRT International Board member for 2022 to 2024.

“Last year, I decided to elevate my involvement with this association to the international board level, so I became a candidate for the IAWRT board. As a result of a transparent election process, I managed to secure membership on the board, allowing me to contribute to its international activities,” said Kreshma.

As part of the international board of IAWRT, Kreshma took part in the monthly board meetings of the association and the work of the Afghanistan support committee.

“The focus has been on addressing key work issues and tackling the challenges faced by Afghan women journalists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. Additionally, there has been an emphasis on continuing collaboration with journalists still working within Afghanistan,” she spoke of the work of the Afghanistan support committee of IAWRT.

Being part of the IAWRT International board, Kreshma wanted to be able to do for women journalists on a wider scale what she and other women in Afghanistan have been able to do—breaking taboos to be able to speak out, learn, work, participate.

“I aspire to witness an increase in the number of women in the media. I want, through the efforts of IAWRT, to enhance the professional capacities of women. I hope, with the assistance of IAWRT, to draw attention to and support women journalists working in conflict-ridden countries, including Afghanistan, so that they can have both personal and professional security, and so that the scope and quality of their professional activities can improve,” said Kreshma.

As many of the gains of women in Afghanistan are being taken away, Kreshma believes there is much work to be done.

“I want to advocate for and inform women through the media. Many women in Afghanistan and other countries still rely on and expect the media to take action on their behalf. Therefore, I strive to be their voice in the media. I aim to work more diligently and earnestly in decision-making and policy-making roles for both women and men,” said Kreshma.

Having seen and experienced many difficulties in her work as a journalist, Kreshma advised that women in media should be strong and resilient.

“Working in the media can be challenging at times. They need to learn the skills of dealing with difficulties and even threats. They should not shy away from learning and set ambitious goals for themselves, striving to achieve them. Because they can be a beacon of hope for many women who do not have the right to raise their voices,” Kreshma said.

Dr. Anjali Monteiro

Documentary filmmaker, educator and researcher



Dr. Anjali Monteiro is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, pioneering media educator and prolific researcher. She is currently a board member (2022-24) of IAWRT International.

She was a fresh college teacher when she first got interested in using media for community empowerment in the late 1970s. She began working with Chandita Mukherjee, a filmmaker and a founding IAWRT member who recently passed away. It was also through Chandita that Anjali became an IAWRT member in 2014.

“She persuaded me to join as she felt that I could contribute positively to the organisation. I knew many other members, such as Reena Mohan and Bina Paul, as personal friends, so I felt I had entered a warm and welcoming space!” Anjali said.

Anjali’s work on documentary filmmaking, education and research entwined throughout her career.

“In the early 1980s, I joined Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), a premier institute for social work education, and worked on setting up an audio-visual unit there. Without any education or background in media, I found myself heading an audio-visual adult education programme. I learned the hard way, but it was also great fun and a journey of discovery,” Anjali recalled.

The audio-visual unit with two members has grown into a School of Media and Cultural Studies. Anjali worked at TISS from 1983 till she retired in 2020.

The Unit for Media and Communications Anjali set up got into documentary filmmaking in the mid-1980s, when video first became accessible and we have produced a number of award-winning documentaries on themes ranging from prison poets (YCP 1997, 1997) to the experiences of a transgender family (Our Family, 2007) to a series on the syncretic musical traditions of nomadic pastoralists who live on the border of India and Pakistan (The Kachchh Trilogy, 2009-17).

“In most of our work, the impetus has been to question received notions of normality and deviance, of the self and the other and to explore the wisdom of marginalized communities. I have worked on all these films in collaboration with my colleague, and later my life partner K.P. Jayasankar,” shared Anjali.  

More about the couple’s work can be found at

Another important contribution Anjali made was to set up a two-year Master’s programme in Media and Cultural Studies in 2007. This programme tries to bring together theory and practice in new ways, with a focus on critical theory, documentary film and multi-media journalism.

“We have produced many fine students who have gone on to become documentary filmmakers, journalists, media researchers and teachers,” Anjali said.

Anjali and her partner have written one of the first books on independent documentary film in India, entitled A Fly in the Curry: Independent Documentary Film in India, (Sage, 2016) which is a widely used and cited book. They have also written several papers and also non-academic writing on themes around documentary film and censorship.

Despite her retirement in 2020, Anjali and Jayasankar’s work in media, film and the academe continues. They have been focusing on writing on documentary film, as well as teaching as guest faculty in many media institutions. They also plan to get back to their documentary filmmaking practice, which took a backseat during the pandemic.

Anjali is also on the editorial board of FemAsia, which is a quarterly online feminist magazine with a South Asia focus; she writes and commissions work for it. She has also been on the jury of a number of documentary film festivals, both in India and overseas.

“I have been fortunate to have wonderful colleagues and together we have been able to do interesting work, in media education and documentary film production. However, things have become more difficult over the years in India. At the present juncture, working within the media, whether in media education or production, has become increasingly challenging,” Anjali shared.

She sees the current political scenario and the increasing commercialization of education in her country as drawbacks to access to education and freedom of expression that she has pushed for in her work.

“For a public university, it has become difficult to foster freedom of thought and expression and to preserve the mandate of free access for all, as the imperatives of a profit-driven education begin to impinge on what was earlier a heavily subsidised sector. Overall, the political scenario has created a culture of silence, sycophancy, fear and censorship, which is not conducive to freedom of expression and to a free and independent media. This makes it difficult for new entrants to the media to find safe spaces to work within, that are creatively and intellectually stimulating. Though the overall picture looks grim, there are always spaces of hope and resistance…” she said.

Also despite her retirement, Anjali has taken up another challenge to use her accumulated skills, expertise and knowledge to empower others: this time to serve as IAWRT International board member.

“IAWRT is at a juncture where it needs to seek new avenues for funding in order to sustain its activities, and I look forward to being a part of initiatives in this regard. I am on the Communications, Mentoring and Afghanistan Crisis Committee and I hope to contribute in all these areas, through writing, networking, mentoring and working in collaboration with my fellow board members. I hope to work in many different ways, to the best of my capacity, towards our collective vision of a gender-just media and safe spaces for women media workers across the globe,” Anjali said.  

She also served on her local chapter’s board. She was a member of the IAWRT India Board of Trustees from 2016 to 2018 and was actively involved in work for the Asian Women’s Film Festival. During her time on the Board, she organised a series of gender sensitisation workshops for Bachelor’s level media students from relatively underprivileged backgrounds, from colleges in Mumbai.

“That was an activity that I really enjoyed, as the students, both women and men, came up with creative ideas to explore and question the ways in which gender relations of power impinge on their lives,” Anjali recalled.

Recently, Anjali has been involved in work on the Afghanistan crisis committee as IAWRT International board member and she shared that she has been so moved by the very adverse conditions under which IAWRT members from Afghanistan, some of them refugees, some in hiding, have been trying to survive and to work.

“IAWRT has helped me connect with women working in the media across many geographies. It has helped me understand the challenges under which women work, and to feel that I can contribute to amplify concerns around freedom of work and expression for women media workers,” she said.

She finds this connection and solidarity among women in media to be crucial more than ever.

“As I mentioned earlier, the challenges are sharper than ever before, as right-wing, undemocratic governments are in power, both within my country and elsewhere. In this scenario, with both overt and covert censorship on the horizon, it becomes increasingly difficult and dangerous to speak truth to power. I hope that the solidarities we forge within IAWRT and through other platforms and organisations can help resist these dangers and work towards safety and freedom of expression,” she said.

Retirement from a company or office does not mean a retreat from her life’s devotion. What Anjali started early in her career, she aims to continue.

“I hope to continue being a learner and a team worker, making films and other media materials that share indigenous knowledge, that represent marginalized voices and hopefully inspire others. I hope to continue writing books and articles that are thought-provoking and that make a contribution to knowledge. I hope to share my insights and to learn from young people for as long as I can,” she said.  

For young women journalists, Anjali gave these words of advice:

“Be open, compassionate, and always ready to dialogue with others. Allow your creativity to flow without inhibition. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Always stand up for justice and freedom of expression. We live in difficult times, but we must continue trying to push the envelope. Above all, it is important to hope, no matter how dire the situation seems.”

Fatuma Matulanga


Head of TBC Zanzibar 

Fatuma Matulanga said she wanted to be a journalist since her first year of primary school.

At 18 years old and thinking then of a career path for her continuing studies, she affirmed that she still wanted to be a journalist.

“A girl must have a dream, and she needs to find a way to reach the dream. Focus on the path to that goal and then you reach your goal,” she advised from her own experience.

Matulanga was promoted as head of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) in Zanzibar in 2016. 

At this stage in her career, newly-elected IAWRT Tanzania chapter head Fatuma Matulanga’s message for both aspiring and current women journalists is this: Get educated, focus on your goal and love your job. 

“It’s a very unique opportunity for a woman to be selected to head a key Bureau and representing a country within a country and the union unlike other bureau’s which are regions (zones),” she said.

She has been part of TBC since 2007. The office at Zanzibar only had one journalist reporting before and when it was expanded, she became its first head.

“I was not expecting or thinking one day I will become head of TBC Zanzibar. I ask myself why I was chosen by the director. I was worried how I will manage. Before, I was only a reporter. But the director wanted something new. He wanted positive changes, and he wanted me to lead,” shared Matulanga.

She wanted to do well in this position, not only for the job but also for all women.

“As a woman head, I have the power to change. To have more women as news sources, experts and gender issues increasing women voices, stories and visibility in the media,” she said.

In this job, she supervises everything—from administration and finances to ensuring the quality of programs.

She has the challenge to govern the company’s finances well because TBC is owned by the government and so that everything that has anything to do with finances (mostly everything) in the office runs smoothly.

She is also always thinking about bringing in revenues for the company. This would come from good productions and news coverage.

“I wanted us to be able to deliver news from Zanzibar to the rest of the country and the world,” she said.

She also wanted to make sure to strengthen teamwork in the company so she and the people she works with will become a highly-qualified and experienced group of journalists.

Leading a company, indeed, required her to look at how she can make positive changes in everything.

“As a woman in leadership position, working hard inspires other people. If you work hard, people see that and then you can do positive changes. People see and they want to be like you or do like you do,” she said of why she has always pushed herself to work hard.

While she is the first to be appointed in TBC Zanzibar, she shared that there are women leaders in newsrooms across the country. But she observed that they can become chief editor, director of a TV or radio program if they have better educational credentials.  

“Years ago, women are struggling to get into leadership positions. Now they understand they need to leverage themselves with getting more and more educated. The opportunity to become chief editor or director can be open to a woman if she has a master’s degree and also depends on her work performance,” she shared.

That is why she encourage women to finish or pursue further education.

“Women needed to work on their degrees, be more educated and then they can do more positive things in the media,” she said.

Matulanga herself finished her Master’s Degree in Global Business Journalism from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China in 2014. While studying, she worked for CCTV.

“There is not like a promise for giving women equal opportunities. I see many women in media houses if they are very, very educated they have better opportunities to get leadership positions in the newsroom,” she shared.

She is also looking to pursue her PhD abroad in the future, when she is ready, she said.

“I love studying, learning, gaining experience anywhere in the world. I encourage women to get educated. Education is looked upon with respect. They can be voice of the voiceless, the voice of women. If they can be educated, they can do that better,” she said.

She said that most women in Africa, like in Tanzania, are poor and that could be a hindrance to their education and developing their potential.

“I really want IAWRT Tanzania to concentrate on women in entrepreneurship. To work on how women can overcome poverty because women need to be empowered, seen, heard, but they need a market to expand their capital, they need to have skills. If you give women income or capital, if she can overcome poverty, if she can become financially stable, then she can also try to take herself away from situations of gender violence, abuse, harassment,” she said.

Matulanga credited women’s groups for helping out fellow women achieve their dreams.

“The Tanzania Media Women Association or TAMWA has a great impact on my professional career. The exchange program in Norway that I was part was through TAMWA and after that, a lot of doors opened,” she recalled.

Matulanga was able to work in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and in the Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication as a tutor. She also worked in the Radio Deutschwelle German Swahili service.

Asked if she feels pressured being a woman leader in the newsroom, she empathically answered in the negative.

“I do what I am supposed to do, for the job I was hired and paid so I do not feel pressured to prove anything,” she said.

But to answer to the constant demand and challenges of the job as a journalist or a leader required more than hard work: one must love the job.

“I just to work hard because it is my job and I love it. I love being a journalist, I love journalism, I love telling stories, if you do your job then you do your best,” she said.

Organizer Women Film Festival Nepal 2018

Mandir Raut


TV Executive Producer and Non-formal education trainer 

Mandira Raut Thapa, or Mandira to colleagues, is currently the Executive Producer of television talk show: Youth in Entrepreneurship. She is also a Board Member to the IAWRT International Board in December 2020.

Starting out in media

She got her first taste of professional media in 2003 when she was selected by her school to attend the “School Representative Media Training”, a yearlong media training program run by the Leadership Academy (then Today’s Youth Asia). She was only 17 then, aspiring to become a media personality.

“The media training opened different avenues for me. It was through the training, I got to meet other like-minded young individuals, and also produce a youth magazine in the following years. Together we would collect articles and report on issues that needed attention but hardly got the limelight in other forms of media,” recalled Mandira of the time.

She volunteered for the organization. It was only in 2006, upon completing high school, that she joined Leadership Academy as an intern and was later promoted as Project Coordinator and Editorial Assistant for Today’s Youth Asia, a bi-weekly magazine with outreach in South Asia.

“We were a small team back then and naturally, one person took up various responsibilities. It was while juggling various hats that I got to hone my skills at work coordination and correspondence, data collection, writing and reporting, proof-reading, and the like,” she shared.

“My passion for journalism got stronger with each interview I took, the guests I met, and the collaboration with the photographers and graphic designers that introduced me to a wider world of media,” said Mandira.

When Today’s Youth Asia transitioned from a magazine to a TV Show called Youth TV Show in 2009, she became the producer of the show.

“I was shaped by the show in different ways,” Mandira recounted.

It was only after 2014 she ventured into freelancing by producing various radio and television programs independently.

“I started out in 2003, at a time when there was very little scope for media as a career for the youth. Even when media studies and media training institutes were extremely few, we had the vision to create a platform for the voices of the youth and increase their participation in democracy,” she shared her goals back then.

During the 10-year Civil War, her group was the first youth-led media outlet that gave the youth an opportunity to bring their voices to the forefront, in spite of the constant backlash, threat, and criticism they faced for being different and outspoken.

“We used media to engage in issues and ideas that were new and unique to the public. It wouldn’t be wrong to call ourselves trendsetters in Nepali media as we also introduced a culture of holding debates for the time in Nepali television on national and international issues,” shared Mandira.

“We gave the youth a chance to present their points of view on a national platform when such events were practiced only in a very few schools in Nepal. As the first Producer of a reality TV Show Nepal’s Top 7 Debaters 2012, I am happy to share this show holds World Record Setter as the first Debate Television Show,” said Mandira.

Current career and goals

She is currently working as Executive Producer of the television talk show “Youth in Entrepreneurship” where they interview and share stories of entrepreneurs, and attempt to understand the current scenario of entrepreneurial business in Nepal. The main objective of this show is to promote innovative ideas for the younger generation.

She is also running another motivational show “UTSAAH” where they feature mother’s stories and issues of working women while running small businesses and taking care of the housework. This show is a work in progress and will be launched when the pandemic situation gets stabilized.

Mandira, similar to how she started out in the media, also got into youth training.

“As a non-formal education trainer, my job is to train youth from 13 to 24 years old in collaboration with different educational institutions on areas of personal development, public speaking, and presentation skills,” she shared.  

These trainings are wide-ranging and cover topics like youths anchoring, public speaking, leadership, confidence building, reporting and writing, and communication for personality development. 

What are the things she is aspiring to accomplish in the near future? Still a lot, as she thinks she is only in the middle of her journey.

“I want to set up a media platform or station where young people always get to learn and experiment with their ideas. Further, I also wish to create an academic platform on the basis of ethics and principle-based learning to do both theory and practical work, innovate new ideas to bring positive change,” said Mandira.

Being an IAWRT member and elected to the International Board

She became an IAWRT Nepal member in December 2007 when I was invited as a Youth Guest Speaker at its IAWRT International Conference in Nepal. It was her first International Conference to speak about her work as a young media person.

“Then, I was handed an IAWRT membership form and later I received an email informing me that I had been accepted to become a member,” she recalled.

“IAWRT has helped me build my confidence and accelerated my learning through interactions and success stories of people around the world, who are fighting against injustice and who are continuing their work despite difficult situations,” said Mandira on how IAWRT has influenced her work and life.

She also has fond memories of the network of women in IAWRT.

“IAWRT members are a constant reminder that it is people and network that support each other during crisis in every aspect,” said Mandira.

While she served as IAWRT Nepal Secretary for four years, she was part of organizing conferences, workshops, trainings, and film festivals where she was able to experience knowing Nepalese media and media personality very closely. This experience, she said, “has given me a lot of confidence to do anything in my country.”

“It has taught me the secret of failure and success. I am very confident in my leadership role in the present and future,” said Mandira.
In the 2020 elections of IAWRT, Mandira was elected as one of three Board members to complete a 7-member International Board.

“As a member of the International board, I hope to support the current board to complete the projects we have launched and create a financial platform for long-term organizational sustainability,” said Mandira.

Mandira believes in the work of IAWRT just as she believes that women in media have the ability to bring sustainable change.

“We need more women in decision-making power all over the world. We need good leadership and risk-takers women in media. Women journalists all over the world need safe working space in media houses,” she said.
From a youth media trainee and budding journalist, Mandira is now an experienced media producer. She also now works to educate and influence the youth and inspire positive changes in her country through her work. It was a reversal of roles made possible through the passing of time, accumulation of experience and wisdom, and a heart that wants to give back or pay forward.

“Young people want quick results which are short-term. I request them to have patience in their profession and stick to their dreams and believe in them. One should always adapt to change with time and technology and educate with new knowledge,” is her advice to young aspiring journalists.



Media consultant and Media rights advocate


Nankwanga Eunice Kasirye or Eunice to colleagues said she started to practice journalism as soon as she finished her ordinary diploma level course. Going to journalism school was a passion for her.


She is currently a private content producer and media consultant. She also does media rights advocacy with a niche on female journalists’ rights.


Eunice believes that the media in her country, generally, has helped in guiding public perceptions and national formulation. 


In that respect, she said, “I am proud of a pool of journalists that I have trained and mentored into responsible journalists despite the challenges that associate with the profession in the country. I have contributed to deliberate and intentional efforts to uplift the pride of a female journalist, finding space for women content in all spaces where I have had a chance to serve as a journalist.”


Eunice and IAWRT

Current IAWRT International Board Secretary Eunice became part of IAWRT in 2009. The Board Secretary she succeeded, Sarah Nakibuuka, also from Uganda, introduced Eunice to IAWRT.


Since then, Eunice has joined a handful of IAWRT activities. In 2013, she participated in the Regional Workshop on Turning the Hate Page. Eunice also joined the Regional Meeting in Nicaragua in 2014, and the Biennial in South Africa in 2016. She also helped hosted the Regional Meeting in Uganda in 2019, just as she became the newly-elected chapter head of IAWRT Uganda.


“IAWRT has given me global exposure and networking through international physical representation and the global membership presence which creates a connection with multiple cultural experiences and opportunities,” said Eunice.


She also became part of the Gender Mainstreaming Project, one of IAWRT’s enduring programs, advocating for stories by women for or on women, and women becoming part of decision-making bodies and leadership posts in the boardroom.


“The Association has offered a platform for career progress and self-esteem through global and local representation,” Eunice shared.


She took her commitment to IAWRT further by running for the post of Secretary in the 2020 Board Elections and won.


In her term as Secretary, Eunice hopes to contribute to the “revival of members and chapters and the interest and vibrancy in the association.”


She also wants to re-emphasize members’ networking and collaboration.


Helping women journalists

Eunice became part of the mentorship project of female journalists in her country, where she said a number have successfully benefitted from the project. It was one of IAWRT Uganda’s programs.


Why the need for mentoring? IAWRT Uganda, in the Gender Mainstreaming Project, has identified obstacles that keep more women from taking up journalism courses or eventually pursuing a career in journalism or excelling in their workplace. Some of these include the lack of opportunities and challenges, coupled with cases of abuse from co-workers or even news sources.


“In my country there is a lot of self-pity and sexual exploitation among female journalists by the male senior,” Eunice shared.


(Read: Uganda Re-discover to re-impose


IAWRT Uganda actively took part in the annual observance of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. In one forum, Eunice highlighted the vital role the media has in raising awareness of GBV by setting the agenda with the power to dictate public perception.


“The female journalists also face intrigue and sabotage among each other in the quest to survive at a job,” shared Eunice.


Eunice advocated that women journalists support one another, as this will be another approach to attaining positive portrayal of women in the media. She also challenged women journalists in her country to desist from trivial differences, backstabbing, intrigue and blackmail but concentrate on building a formidable professional, reliable and objective force to make, enforce and oversee critical decisions that affect the space of a woman in the media.


(Read: Mobilizing against gender violence


IAWRT Uganda’s findings on the Gender Mainstreaming Project also showed how even when women become the leaders in their newsrooms, the culture is to defer to their male counterparts, despite them being younger or more inexperienced.


The chapter decided to develop a Uganda Gender Media Guide.


(Read: Uganda developing gender media guide)


When the pandemic hit and lockdowns were enforced in 2020, Eunice wrote about the situation of female journalists. She reported that freelance or women journalists are let go over their male counterparts when media companies had to operate at half budget or downsize.


Capping all these efforts, Eunice said she would love to be able to establish a more stable and self-reliant one-stop  capacity building centre for female journalists in her country.


Not an easy task to be a woman journalist

What Eunice considers her biggest challenge is one of what she and IAWRT Uganda has identified to be barriers to women journalists’ success in her country.


“Societal negative stereo typing of career women, I have been so criticized for continuous improvement of my career, society labels me as ‘big-headed and insubordinate’ to masculinity,” Eunice shared.


Women teaming up with other instigators of negative portrayal of women efforts and labelling the women achievers as perverts has been her own personal challenge in this line of work.


“Achievers are not basic, they never settle for anything just because it is available, they create own legacy and stand in the space regardless of who supports or doesn’t support her cause,” insisted Eunice.


And Eunice will persist.


“Female journalists can receive the career respect they deserve and also sit on the decision table with confidence and pride. They ought to be respected by their actions and word, boldness and confidence comes with reliability,” she affirmed.


Afrah Shafik

Goa, India

Multimedia Artist: digital, animation, sound, video, archives, writing

What type of projects do you do?

I am a multimedia artist; my work is not confined to one particular medium. I often use digital technology – animation, sound, video, coding; as well as writing, research and archival material to make hybrid visual artwork.

Why did this sort of work interest you, and how did you get started?

I’ve never been to art school and was not really exposed to it while growing up, so I didn’t exactly set out intending to be an artist. I was always an avid reader and liked to write. Towards the end of my college term, I took a short course in documentary filmmaking that I enjoyed and decided to do a Masters in Mass Communication. At that time documentary film felt like a more imaginative way of telling the same stories I was perhaps interested in sharing through my writing. After my Masters, I had the good fortune to assist and be mentored by filmmakers and artists from whom I got to explore and learn not only the medium of documentary filmmaking and visual art but also a political and feminist understanding of issues.

I always worked as a freelancer, and I didn’t confine myself to one particular type of job. I just went from project to project working on things that sounded interesting to me. This meant that I sometimes worked as an assistant to a film curator, sometimes I was the manager for a film festival, at other times I was a line producer on a large scale documentary shoot, an illustrator for an internet project, or a researcher on an academic publication. As I went on this journey, I slowly became more familiar with various practices and skills and when I got the opportunity, I began to make work that in someway combined all the things I know and like.

I make art as a way to understand and make sense of the world around me.

I think it is important for everyone to have the space to tell their own stories in their own way.

In our constructed world of media and its related industries there is mostly a dominant set of people who do all the talking. Often, they narrate their experiences as the only truth, or speak on “behalf” of other people without truly understanding or accurately representing realities beside their own.”

The people who are often left behind and spoken over – women, people of colour, people of a certain religion, caste, class, ethnic background, sexual identity, ideology – hardly get to see their themselves represented in the world outside. When I watch or read something where I can see myself truly reflected, it gives me strength to continue to be myself and to understand and accept myself. I have experienced this, and I feel in turn this is the ethos that guides me in what I make.

What parts of this job do you like and find most satisfying?

The nice part about being an independent artist is that you can see what you find missing in the world, and make that thing. Or you can think up a world you would like to live in and then make that come alive in your work. I find in that a satisfying way to cope, to hit back, to thrive.

“I have a keen interest in the inner lives of women. Their history, feelings, work, skills, minds, bodies and behavior has been controlled, contorted, misrepresented, ignored.”

But there are so many people who have been undoing the lacuna and misinformation bit by bit in their own areas of study. I like that my work allows me to spend a lot of time reading and research around this. Lately I have been spending a lot of time in archives reading about women’s histories, letters, diaries, stories – which I find very satisfying.

What do you not like or find most challenging about working in this industry?

I have many complaints about the functioning of this industry, which are reflective of also the functioning of this world in general. The way in which cliques are formed and there are insiders and outsiders. The way in which access to resources is so unevenly distributed. The way in which spaces and work can be ghettoized and side-lined. I do feel however, that I am presently in a space where I am looking to channelise disappointment and anger into productive energy and would therefore not want to dwell on these.

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

I enjoy opening out my mind, dreaming up things and giving in to creative instincts and sudden inspiration, but I am equally committed to seeing it through with the work that is required to translate an idea into its material form. I believe in attentiveness, to giving my all, to working hard. I think this is my strength. I like to do every project that I engage in to the best of my own ability.

Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?

I have honestly not been exposed much to the International network of IAWRT but I have certainly been inspired by and helped endlessly by the women in our own India Chapter of IAWRT. Several of the members are filmmakers whose work I admire very much.

“Being a part of IAWRT reinforces the importance of the collective.”

What are your long-term goals?

I would like to continue to expand my knowledge and skill base, and to experiment and push the boundaries of my own work both formally and conceptually. I would also like my work to reach a wider audience. And in the very long term, I would love to also be a producer – finding ways to fund, show and facilitate the work of other artists.

What special advice do you have for other women seeking this type of work?

I think that everyone has their own voice and way of expressing what they would like to say. This means that everyone cannot make “viral material” that gets all the hits. At the same time I do believe that there is an audience for every type of work. It is a great feeling if even two people truly understand what you have made and it gives them meaning and that is enough to keep going.

“Don’t try to make things for the likes alone, because in that process you may lose your voice and your own very unique and special way of saying things.”

It is sometimes a scary and anxiety inducing process to find that voice or continue to hold on to it and let it grow – but when it does begin to happen, it is a very reaffirming and fantastic feeling. Sometimes it might feel like you don’t know what you are doing, and there is no reinforcement from anywhere. Even when this happens, just trust your gut and keep going. Do listen to criticism carefully, but don’t stop making the stuff that makes you feel alive. 

Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, based on your experience?

Although the rewards of working as a freelancer and an independent artist are many, it is also difficult sometimes in terms of sustainability. Unlike having a job or working on contract you don’t always know where your next payment will come from. If you make work that is niche, you may find it hard to sell or get funders too. I don’t have any quick fix solutions for these very real world problems, but if you are consistent, honest and good at what you do things do work out – so keep at it and don’t give up.

links to some of Afrah Shafiq’s work available online.

Personal website/profiles on line. – (same name on instagram)



Sulaymaniyah, Iraq – Kurdistan

Radio Nawa 

editor, journalist, administrative officer

What type of projects do you do?

I am a news journalist and sub-editor for Nawa radio and website. I am interested in creating features and short videos because it can often have a rapid effect on society.  I write articles about freedom of expression, supporting women and children and human rights I also critique social ideas which cause harm, like my video and report on honor murders in Iraq.  I like to share awareness in the community to tell women that they are powerful, and they can reach for their dreams. I want all people to live with peace and love. In the future, I want to organize community projects especially for women.

Why did media work interest you, and how did you get started?

I am interested in this field because there are so many women victims, who do not know their rights, they are accepting many kinds of violence, and society needs to accept its responsibility for the increasing numbers of female victims.

Day after day, we hear that a woman has committed suicide or was killed by her family because the society did not accept them making their own decisions. So, they leave school, they choose to be alone, they do not try to learn, and at the end, they accept violence.

The only solution for these problems is to spread awareness in the community, I am focusing on victims, I am pointing to those who are responsible for violence, sometimes I prepare a report about a murder case or I create a video about violence. I want to tell people to choose humanity and love instead of hate and violence.

And sometimes I organize a visit to the mental hospital to meet girls who tried to commit suicide, to know the reason and try to help them

What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?

It makes me happy when someone reads my article and tells me that it was helpful, and it helped to face their problems. But the biggest challenge is to convince women that they have rights, and they must fight for them.  The hardest part is to locate victims, when I do, I try to tell them they do not have to feel shame because they are the victim, not the guilty. It is very hard for me to convince females to not accept violence – I want them to break their silence and face it, and stand up for their rights; Because of the culture, it is very hard to convince society to stop treating females as weak creatures and to stop violence against them.

What do you like and not like about working in this industry?

I like working for women: to tell them that they are powerful, that they have rights to fight for, when I can help someone in a bad situation, it makes me feel blessed.

The worse thing that I am facing is my society. It does not want an open-eyed girl, they want a girl to do what their family wants, even if it is not what the girl wants. It is hard in some case when you tell a woman about her rights and she denies that. As well, when I am looking for the truth of a case it is very hard to establish what is true and what is false.

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

I like to act as I am. I am a normal person with a free soul, I love everyone, and I want to live in peace with love. I like to motivate people, I have writing and speaking skills to connect to an audience on important social subjects.  I like to communicate with people.

Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?

The IAWRT network helped me a lot and inspired me to keep going and reach for my goals, and it makes me happy to know and communicate with people that care about women, and share our story around the world

What are your long-term goals?

My goals are to support women in reaching their dreams and to teach them it is okay to fall because they can stand up again. I want to work for a decrease in the suicide and murder rates of women in Iraq.

What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?

I am advising them to work in the media field as it is very important to connect with more people and support other women and inspire them to stand on their feet. Also, they can be connected with international news as it is very important to know about the outside world.

Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, because of your experience?

First, women must make their safety their top priority, and they must be ready for every response. They must read up on safety principles of the work and deal with it, I want to support them and tell them ‘you are strong, do not give up, face your fears, and publish the truth.’

links to some of Binay’s work which are available online (in Kurdish Language except IAWRT feature) 

article is about how to feel life, living is not enough we must feel it

talking about how to be proud of our pain and to not hide it

article about people wanting baby boys more than girls and how it should stop

IAWRT web feature on honor murders (in English)

article about IAWRT Uganda conference

News for the radio’s site that I work at:

Also I write my ideas in my social accounts … Facebook – Binay Shorsh


photo Maundu

Video Editor, Filmmaker

Digital Safety Trainer & Consultant

Nairobi, Kenya

What type of projects do you do?

I edit raw footage of different programs into a sequence that tells a story. I input music, dialogue, graphics and sound effects, consulting with producers from production to the post-production process. Developsuperior skills and expertise in handling computer editing equipment, video switching devices. Organize and assemble video segments to deliver continuous and sequential stories to a specified length

As a digital safety trainer, I conduct training on how to stay safe online. Everything we do is becoming traceable, the websites we visit, who we talk to (and how often) where we have been and what we care about. All this data can be used to make sensitive inferences and predictions about people. Personality traits can be predicted from Facebook likes or phone metadata. And if the recent scandal of Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica company is anything to go by, where millions of people’s personal data was harvested, then digital safety has never been more crucial than now. As journalists it is important we learn how to be safe online. Digital safety is very crucial to journalists as there are times we handle very sensitive information, and we must protect our sources as well as ourselves.

Why did this sort work interest you, and how did you get started?

I remember vividly that I was in grade two, when a television crew came to our school, to record us as we performed dance and poetry. We were later featured in a programme entitled Variety Show, which was aired on Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), and I was thrilled and fascinated at the same time. This incident aroused my curiosity about television programming, I was curious to know how we managed to fit it in that “small box” called a television. And this where my passion and desire for television production began. After completing high school, I went to pursue film\video production, as I desired to tell stories of people, stories that will not only be interesting but also life changing.  

What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?

First and foremost, I get to do what I love, and it is very satisfying. It gives me an opportunity to be creative. Creativity comes with the job and you find yourself thinking outside the box, working hand in hand with the producer to create a program that will keep viewers glued to their television. Working for the media, gives you an opportunity to network through several organisations, IAWRT being one of them and this strengthens your network; after all your network is your worth.

The media can be quite intimidating especially if you work with a big media house like KBC and the best way to survive to have a thick skin. It is not for the faint hearted.

What do you like and not like about working in this industry?

The media industry in Kenya is very vibrant; we are trail blazers in the African continent. And you get to see that the programs and productions you are involved in are changing people’s lives, they are having an impact on people. That brings a lot of satisfaction.  

Media everywhere is going through a lot of change. These changes are being driven by technology and where media channels are becoming more fragmented the media consumer is more empowered than ever before. The audience has moved from being passive to becoming an active audience. Social media has really revolutionized how most audiences are consuming content. And this is a threat to old media, like television.

There are a lot of amazing opportunities in this industry, fellowships, training, workshops, you name it. I have been very fortunate to have been granted several fellowships, for example in the year 2016, I applied for a film production fellowship in New York, to work on the production of the Emmy award winning series The { } And and I was lucky to be selected as one of the fellows. In 2017, I was selected for a coaching and leadership fellowship at the Poynter Media Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. As fellows we were tasked to each mentor two young people getting into the media industry. In 2017 I was also selected to be a safe sister fellow, a fellowship on digital security conducted by Internews in Washington DC and DefendDefenders Uganda.

The media industry has a lot of opportunities especially for women, one has just to be on the look out for them.

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

I am an excellent public speaker, very eloquent, and I have a good mastery of language. This has really come in handy when I am doing digital safety training. I am also dependable, whenever I begin an assignment I make sure I see it through to completion, because it’s not how you start, rather, how you finish. I have a great sense of humor I must say I make dull moments a little bit better.

I am a skilled video editor, with over ten years of experience. I am good with most of the editing software, am good at creating content and my greatest strength is my creativity.

I have a Masters in communication studies (which would not have been possible without the generous funding of an IAWRT Scholarship). I’m currently pursuing my PhD in communication studies. Because of my academic qualifications, I have been privileged to lecture part time at the Multimedia University of Kenya, which is a public university. I lecture on television production techniques, concentrating on the technical aspects of production – editing, special effects and camera work. I must say this is a field that is male dominated and hence I have used the opportunity to mentor young women in this field, encouraging them to take up more technical roles.

Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?

IAWRT network is where it all began for me; this year specifically marks ten years since I became a member of IAWRT. When I wanted to join IAWRT I asked the then Kenya chapter Chairperson Rachael Nakitare, “What can IAWRT do for me? And she told me it’s not about what IAWRT can do for you rather what you can do for IAWRT” and that question challenged me and I love challenges, they bring out the best in me, they push me out of my comfort zone. Immediately I joined IAWRT, and I am the current elected Kenya chapter secretary. Through the members I have been inspired over the years to push myself, to keep going, no matter what. When I came into the media my vision was different from the reality on the ground. And it is through the network of the women in IAWRT that I was able to put things into perspective. I have also been privileged to get meet my mentor through IAWRT and she has been a great support in my career

Being a member of IAWRT is more than just belonging—it is not only about what you can get from your association but also what you can give back to the profession.

After IAWRT Kenya worked on research for the Women’s Rights Online, Digital Gender Gap Audit which looked at how many women use the internet, (Kenya report here) I saw that one of the major reasons why women were less online was because of  gender based online violence. One of the many things I have learnt through interaction with members of IAWRT is solution-based journalism. Hence, I immediately took the initiative of becoming a digital trainer to close that gap. It was during the one-year SafeSister fellowship that I got to literally learn everything on how to be a digital safety trainer. I am currently in the process of organizing a UX (user experience) training for women journalists.  I have also taken up online courses, on where they have a lot of great resources on digital security. All this desire for digital security was born out my contact with IAWRT. We are living in a time of unprecedented connectivity, and it is easy to forget that there are dangers out there, on the internet, on social media, in the apps we use every day. The internet is the vehicle of the future and the future is now and we cannot afford for women to be left behind in fear of being harassed online. I am committed to preach the “gospel” of digital safety to the ends of the earth.

What are your long-term goals?

Currently I love what I do. However, my long-term goal is to set up my own production house where I can continue producing programs and films which are centered on social change – programs that bring about capacity building.  Through this production house I want to continue mentoring young women in the media, demystifying the idea that the technical aspects of production, like camera and video editing are for men.

Also, I want to venture into consulting work specifically in digital security. My main goal being able to get more women online and training them how to be safe online; Creating safe spaces for women online because unless the most vulnerable feel safe online, the internet will continue to be a male dominated space. Hence, we achieve one Millennium Development Goal.

What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?

In this industry it takes passion, zeal and enthusiasm. You must be willing to sacrifice your time and put your best foot forward, because the media industry is evolving every day, with new trends and one must keep up in order to stay on top of the game.

Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, because of your experience?

Passion is what should drive you in this industry, not money, because if it is vice versa you are in the wrong place.

links to some of work available online

Environmental Sanitation

The State of Journalism in Kenya

Twisted Love Cecilia

Personal profile



Community Radio Capacity Builder, Communications Specialist

Name of Job?

Director EMPOWERHOUSE. senior communications specialist.

What type of projects do you do?

Support development of community media; organizational development of community media, public media, journalism training institutions – including strategic, business and communication planning; evaluations of media development and community media programs and projects; planning and implementation of capacity building of community and other media. See my IAWRT bio here.

Why did this sort work interest you, and how did you get started?

From my early 20s I have had three building blocks, or corner stones, in my life – including my professional life: (the declaration of) Human rights; Feminism (have been engaged in movements, working groups, women’s stations since I was a young girl); belief that people should speak for themselves (as out lined in the principles for feminist journalism). Building on those values has led me to work with community media, press freedom and media development; and as a part of all this, women’s use of and role in media and communication.

What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?

Working with small communities within their process to develop their own media. And especially (!!) working with women’s role and engagement here. I have seen the kind of powerful change this can generate!

What do you like and not like about working in this industry?

I know the power of media and communication, and I am dedicated to use my good experience to develop and promote effective use of community media/communication. With the Sustainable Development Goals highlighting of the commitment to ‘leave no-one behind’ I see a particular role for community media: they can be established by people themselves, be in marginalized communities and can engage all. They are a powerful platform for empowerment (see much more in my book about this). What I don’t like? A real challenge now is that funding to develop and work with people and the realities around the issues I present above, is now organized in bidding processes, where big companies ‘run with’ the assignments, and from what I have seen, the perspectives I believe in are often not presented. I don’t like international development actors, who pretend to develop community media without involving the community! Hence I have worked up material to ensure that communities setting up radio understand how to make it work for all of them.

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

Aside from the broad insight and experience within my areas of specialization after 30 years of work –  some of the inspiring and important personality traits, that people I have worked with have highlighted, are that I am passionate, open, friendly, warm, kind and hard-working. I am recognized as able to ‘walk my talk’… bringing what I am engaged in to a full conclusion – to walk that extra mile.

Has IAWRT’s network of media women around the world helped or inspired you?

Having been a member since 2015 on the side-lines, I am now just returning from my first active engagement with the IAWRT at the CSW62, and can’t help but to wonder: Why only now? I belong in the IAWRT as the issues I care about the most are at the core of IAWRT action, including working to secure an equal space for women – in freedom – everywhere. I have so enjoyed being intensely engaged with CSW62 activities. And I have been so gracefully received and integrated by this amazing group of women from all over the world that I do feel as if I had been a part of it all along, connecting back to my engagement around Copenhagen, Nairobi and (at a distance, having just given birth) Beijing. It has been a truly inspiring experience, and I look forward to continuing to tap into – and to contribute to – all that the IAWRT is and stands for. And a warm thank you for the invitation and push to get engaged by Frieda Werden, whom I met when I was interning at Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press in 1982-83. We have kept in contact and I have been supported by her over the years (see Wings interview below). In the past month she and Sheila Dallas-Katzman (USA Chapter Head) have helped me get into the IAWRT for real. All this is warmly appreciated!

What are your long-term goals?

To pull together my own experience with that of others about what it is that makes community media sustainable, inclusive and a community platform for debate and dialogue that includes the perspective of ‘leaving no-one behind’; and (i) ensuring that national and international decisions makers understand and have tools to make use of the potential ‘magic’ of community media – not least in the lives of women; and (ii) developing (compiling what exists and filling in gaps) easy access to tools for communities and their friends to develop and maintain such community media.

What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?

Listen to yourself and be true to what you really believe in. Then find groups, networks of women, or individual women, who work in your area. Ask for advice. I have done this a lot all along my 30+ years in this area, and all along I have received requests for advice, suggestions – and I have always readily and happily shared. And I know that there are so many more out there ready to help!
What I usually recommend is to find people doing what you want to do,  – if not possible to get a paid function, then get engaged as a volunteer. 
My own five first years, after my graduation, I worked in part time, poorly paid jobs and as a volunteer in a variety of different functions. At the end of the five years after graduation (Master in strategic communication, civil society and culture) I had worked as:
* a (volunteer) community radio broadcaster and trainer for 5 years
* a TV producer for 2 years (paid – based on education and community radio experience)
* a paid trainer of unemployed women in my home-country of Denmark, doing video productions about their dreams (really empowering)
* an editor of the magazine of our women’s movement in Denmark (partly paid)
* organizing a cultural centre for kids’ culture for the Nordic Cooperation (paid).
On this basis I began to get good and exciting jobs.

links to some work.

Empowerhouse (under each of the 7 professional specialisations, you find (i) a description of how I work, (ii) an overview of assignments in this area and (iii) a listing of publications by me, covering this particular area. I have, furthermore, on that website developed a special “community media universe”, with – again – 7 specialisations thereunder, presented. One of these are here: on women and community media, and you here see a description, again, of how I work and links to related documents / documentation.
Personal profile online
Birgitte Jallov audio profile on Wings


Flourence PP

Journalist and Marketer 


What type of projects do you do?

Writing stories on women and marketing work.

Why did this sort work interest you, and how did you get started?

Being a woman got me interested and it was all started by the conference I first attended about Women in Media.

What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging?

When women talk about their actual stories and life experiences.

What do you like and not like about working in this industry?

Journalism is almost a full-time job with no time to rest, but what is interesting about the job is getting to know about people’s life stories.  We learn much from others and also make connections.

My strongest assets/skills, areas of knowledge, personality traits and values are….

Writing, interviewing and research

What are your long-term goals?

Being an advocate for women.

What special advice do you have for young women seeking to qualify for this type of work?

Young women should be ready to work with passion in all the kinds of work they are tasked to do.

Do you have any special words of warning, or encouragement, because of your experience?

The safety of women is very important as we do the work and it should always come first.