As indicated in the previous report of November 2023, 11 mentor-mentee pairs were formed initially at the end of October 2023. Of these, 8 pairs took off the ground, with the mentors and mentees being put in touch with each other by the Committee chair. In March 2024, we decided to take stock of the process. Of the 8 pairs, 3 pairs had met more than once, of which 2 pairs took up some work. 3 pairs could not go forward, because the mentees did not turn up in two cases and in one case there was a language issue. The remaining 2 pairs were in touch on WhatsApp but could not initiate any joint work due to either mentor or mentee having issues with giving time. The reasons for the programme not going forward smoothly included family problems, ill health, time zone issues, as well as lack of commitment and communication on the part of the mentees. It is clear from this that the mentorship process is far from smooth and mentee commitment is a serious issue.

We elicited suggestions from mentors and the following came up: screening of mentees to ascertain seriousness and suitability, involvement of mentors in the initial meetings with mentees, starting the mentoring process with a structured input such as an online or offline workshop, combined with project-based learning.

The mentorship programme in Kathmandu held from March 31 to April 4 provided an opportunity to begin to explore a different model of mentorship. Three workshops were held:

  •  Crafting Stories: An Introduction to Scriptwriting for Documentary Film (2 days, Resource Person: Dr. Shilpi Gulati, IAWRT India)
  •  Rethinking Media: Towards Gender-sensitive and Facilitative Engagements with Social Media ( One day, Resource Persons: Dr. Shilpi Gulati, IAWRT India and Mr. Rob Vanwey, USA, cyber security expert)
  •  On Point: Effective Technical Writing (Focus on How to Write Proposals)
    (2 days, Ms. Lynda C. Garcia, IAWRT Philippines)

While the detailed report is being awaited, preliminary reports obtained at a hybrid mentorship committee meeting held during the workshops indicate that all the workshops were well received. The scriptwriting workshop resulted in several projects that have potential of being worked on for funding and production. We are undertaking a programme evaluation with participants to explore the possibility of mentorship opportunities arising out of the workshops. Another issue discussed at the meeting was that the mentorship programme needs to be expanded to include mentees who might not be full-fledged members of IAWRT, but who have some IAWRT connection, eg. Student volunteers, film festival participants etc.

As we commemorate Women’s Month, the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Philippines is set to bring the situation of Filipino women and women journalists before the 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) here at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

IAWRT Philippines is organizing “Our Stories, Our Struggles: Safety of Women in Media,” an in-person parallel event to be held at the Chapel of the Church Center of the United Nations on March 19, 2024, 10:30 a.m. EDT.

IAWRT Philippines hopes this platform can serve as a springboard for continuing discussions, actions, and research on the gendered experiences of women in media.

Just last week, two Filipino women journalists were harassed while covering the violent demolition of homes at a 73-hectare disputed land in the Philippines where approximately 2,000 residents or 535 families were affected. At gunpoint, one of the journalists was told to stop covering. This is usually how the lives of women journalists, and Filipino women as a whole, intersect. But fundamentally, their shared experiences go far beyond this.

Women in media do find common cause with the plight of the larger community of women in the country, as many are working with low pay, without benefits, and no hazard pay. They are also offered hardly any protection and safe reporting mechanisms from gender-based attacks in the course of their work, contributing to the stigma in seeking accountability from perpetrators.

The IAWRT Philippines event is co-organized with IAWRT, IAWRT USA, IAWRT Afghanistan, the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development (APWLD), and Gabriela New York.

L-R: Janess Ann Ellao, Lynda Catindig-Garcia, Jola Diones-Mamangun and Therese San Diego Torres

Women’s rights activists joined the call to action, advocating the protection of women in media from politically motivated and gender-based attacks in the Philippines in the ongoing 68th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

“Women in media do find common cause with the plight of the larger community of women in the country, as many are working with low pay, without benefits, and no hazard pay. They are also offered hardly any protection and safe reporting mechanisms from gender-based attacks in the course of their work, contributing to the stigma in seeking accountability from perpetrators,” said Lynda Catindig-Garcia, chapter head of IAWRT Philippines.

During the event, IAWRT Philippines and the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) led the discussion on the safety of women in media, per the findings of their 2023 and 2024 research funded by International Media Support (IMS) and the British Embassy Manila through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), respectively.

Therese San Diego Torres, IAWRT Philippines secretary, said that while most of the journalists say that such threats and attacks have not prevented them from pursuing a story, “some admitted that there is indeed a chilling effect that may lead to self-censorship, as such experiences make them hesitate and think twice before pursuing or publishing a story.”

Torres, who also sits as Research, Policy, and Advocacy director of AIJC, said she was also able to interview journalists who prefer to cover war over politics because “they know where the bullets are coming from.”

(left to right) Edz Dela Cruz (Philippines), Najiba Ayubi (Afghanistan), Sheila Katzman (USA), Lynda Catindig-Garcia and Therese San Diego-Torres (Philippines).

Journalist Lady Ann Salem shared how the government wielded its power to silence women truth tellers in the Philippines. Meanwhile, multi-awarded television broadcast journalist Karen Davila, who is also the UN Women National Ambassador for Goodwill, shared how she was subjected to online harassment such as trolling under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

IAWRT Afghanistan chapter head Najiba Ayubi and IAWRT USA chapter head Sheila Katzman also shared how the Philippine experience resonates with theirs.

The in-person parallel event was held at the Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations on March 19, 2024.

The co-organizers of the in-person parallel event are IAWRT, IAWRT USA, IAWRT Afghanistan, the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development (APWLD), and Gabriela New York.

7-9th March 2024 at India International Centre, New Delhi

Organized by ‘International Association of Women in Radio & Television’ (IAWRT) – Chapter India

Supported by

Embassy of France in India; French Institut, India; Alliance Francaise, Delhi; Delhi Tourism; Shergill-Sundaram Arts Foundation; Breakthrough Trust; UN Women; Goethe -Max Mueller Bhawan Delhi; INKO Trust- Chennai

In collaboration with:

India International Centre, New Delhi

IAWRT Chapter India’s Asian Women’s Film Festival is the only Festival of it’s kind which celebrates the works of women (or those who identify as women) of Asian origin from across the world.

It is held each year to mark International Women’s Day and this years’ edition was the 19th edition!

  50 Films, across genre`s including fiction features, documentaries, shorts, animation, student and experimental films from 20 countries were screened over three days at the C. D. Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre, Main Block, including a specially curated section of short films from Iran. The auditorium was packed with media school students, general audiences, cinephiles, IIC and IAWRT members.

A seminar ‘The once and future of Documentary’ to initiate a conversation on archiving, at a time when everything has a digital afterlife with a spotlight on women films collectives, and a three day workshop ‘Balancing Acts’ –  on balancing storytelling and messaging for content creators from diverse backgrounds including young women from tribal areas, urban poor communities and film school students were also held. The workshops saw participation of members from Nepal as well.

A Masterclass with the highly acclaimed Palestinian Film maker Mai Masri from Lebanon and an upskilling session as a conversation on editing between Amrita David(France) and Jabeen Merchant(India) were much sought after sessions. 

A conversation on Gender, Consent and Law-  exploring consent in a holistic manner supported by UN Women and PLD was also organized. The session was conducted by Dr.Anjali Monteiro , IAWRT India and IAWRT International Board member

Interactive conversations on : Mainstreaming the Marginalized- film making in the time of OTT and Journeys of Diverse Practices, were held in the open under a Banyan Tree , in the Gandhi King Plaza ay India International Centre.Animated conversations amongst film makers and an invited audience ensured meaningful discussions.

The opening film ‘The Siren’ by Sepideh Farsi a French Persian production depicting the human cost of war, was a film especially important for our times. 

As always renowned film makers from all over the world and India were there to present their films and be present for Q&As post screenings. Including iconic names like  Mai Masri from Lebanon- who screened her film ‘Frontiers of Dreams and Feats.

Shin Su Won from South Korea who presented her film ‘Homage’ .

 Amrita David from  France screened her film  ‘Towards Tenderness’

Additionally, there were two exhibitions – Daastan e Rafoo by  Rafooghar and Let’s teach through Stories by Alka Hingorani member IAWRT Chapter India.

As a special treat Alliance Francaise New Delhi had organized an all women concert on the 9th of March at Stein Auditorium India Habitat Centre, to mark International Women’s Day which played to a full house!

We were fortunate to have Bina Paul, IAWRT Board member as our Festival Director for the 19th edition and Anitha Balachandran – Treasurer IAWRT Chapter India, for designing and illustrating all the artwork for the Festival. 

The Festival was formally inaugurated the 7th of March at a simple ceremony.

Shri. Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, Director French Institute, India was felicitated by Aaradhana Kohli, Managing Trustee IAWRT- Chapter India. He addressed the gathering on the occasion.

Juliette Grandmont was also felicitated for her contribution to the 19th edition of the Asian Women’s Film Festival.

Long time supporters and friends of IAWRT and the Asian Women’s Film Festival Suneeta Dhar, Dr Marla Stukenberg Regional Director South Asia (Goethe) , L.S. Tochhawng, Head Programme Division IIC were also felicitated.

The inauguration was followed by screening of the opening film and dinner which was attended by representatives from the US Embassy, French Embassy, Korean Cultural Centre, Skill India, Goethe, Shergill Sundaram Arts Foundation, India International Centre, Breakthrough Trust, UN Women, grassroots media women and IAWRT members from India, Nepal, and IAWRT India who was visiting from Hong Kong! Representatives from various women’s organizations amongst others added value to the occasion.

The India International Centre, New Delhi held a festive air as media practitioners, well known names from the film world and audiences young and old celebrated the moving image in all it’s avatars!

International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT ) Chapter India’s Asian Women’s Film Festival is held each year to mark International Women’s Day. This year the 19th edition of the Festival will take place 7-9 March 24 at India International Centre, New Delhi. 


50 films, across genres from 20 countries will be screened including a curated section of short films from Iran. A seminar ‘The Today and Tomorrow Documentary’ on Archiving at a time when everything has a digital afterlife, ‘Balancing Acts’ – a 3 day workshop on balancing storytelling and messaging for creators from diverse backgrounds will be held. A Masterclass with the acclaimed Palestinian Film maker Mai Masri from Lebanon and an upskilling session on editing with Amrita David(France) and Jabeen Merchant(India). A session on Consent and Law- exploring consent in a holistic manner will be coordinated by Anjali Moterio Member International Board are the other highlights.The opening film is ‘The Siren’ by Sepideh Farsi is on the human cost of war. Renowned film makers will present their films: Ms. Mai Masri (Lebanon)-Frontiers of Dreams and Feats’, Ms. Shin Su Won (South Korea)- ‘Homage’ and Ms. Amrita David ( France) – ‘Towards Tenderness’. Additionally, there will be exhibitions by Rafooghar and Alka Hingorani.

Fatana Bayat, a documentary filmmaker, and Mina Habib, a journalist from Afghanistan, have won the Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity for their work in highlighting the situation of women.

AWRT Afghanistan member Fatana Bayat, an Afghan documentary filmmaker, has been recognized for her work in the past two years depicting the situation of women and has been well received. She won the South Asian prize for gender-related issues in the media.

The award is organized by the Indian organization Population First, a Mumbai-based social impact organization supported by the UNFPA, and aims to promote gender sensitivity in media across India.

The award ceremony took place in Mumbai, India. However, due to Taliban restrictions, the two Afghan female journalists could not attend in person.

Ms. Bayat, in a message to IAWRT, said “I sincerely congratulate all my media colleagues, especially the female journalists and all the women of my country, and I hope that we can be the voice of women in Afghanistan in this difficult situation.”

Given the extremely adverse conditions in which Afghanistan journalists work especially since the return of the Taliban to Kabul, this achievement is a source of inspiration that Fatana and also Mina have been able to produce work that is meaningful, relevant and award-winning.

IAWRT’s chapter in Afghanistan launched in November 2022 a report about the dangers, challenges and changes that female journalists have faced in Afghanistan since August 2021. Among them are job losses, the closure of media outlets, and restrictions on reporting and on women in the profession among others. Read more here.

by Empowerhouse / Birgitte Jallov

16 women working with community radio to strengthen the voices and lives of women in their area

Olena Zinenko, Media Researcher, Ukraine

Olena Zinenko from Kharkiv in Ukraine shares communication – and culture – has gotten a whole new importance in the present war situation, where also new voices are heard in new ways. As she says: the state media, the commercial and oligarch media create media products – she and her colleagues focus in their media production on processes, on creating understanding and of becoming. A peace activist and a media consultant at the Centre of Gender Culture’s Media Laboratory, Olina has worked with multimedia reportage workshops and creative journalism.

Olena uses her social media presence to translate the important, hard news from Ukraine in English to her broad group of followers, and she shares a heartbreaking observation – and positive amid the horror of the war: when reading the posts of her women followers on the social media, she becomes relieved when they begin to search for manicure and other things related to keeping themselves and their bodies in their new realities – this means that they HAVE found a place to live, a school for their children and have food on the table – only then will they begin to think of other things.

Olena had to leave Kharkiv with her husband and two daughters when their city was attacked – fleeing first to Poland and thereafter to Germany, where she was based in Frankfurt an der Oder. She continues her research at Frankfurt’s Viadrina University, while waiting to return home.

Read more here:

EMPOWERHOUSE lanuches its contribution to the 16-day campaign by sharing 16 women’s community radio stories: unfolding how each broadcaster has been seeing positive change for women and girls – working intensely to eliminate violence against women and girls.

by Shansel Mbaku

A Report on the Regional Conference of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT)

The International Association for Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) is a prominent global network dedicated to empowering women in the media industry. With a strong emphasis on training, digitalization, and ensuring the safety of women in media, IAWRT serves as a pivotal platform for advocating gender equality, fostering professional growth, and advocating for a free press that contributes to democracy.

On November 16th and 17th, 2023, IAWRT organized a highly significant regional conference at Franco Hotel in Yaounde, Cameroon. The conference successfully brought together more than 50 journalists from various regions of the country, representing diverse backgrounds and expertise. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication and UN Women, the event aimed to address the pressing need for creating safe and productive spaces for women media professionals.

The central theme of the 2023 IAWRT Regional Conference, “Creating Safe and Productive Spaces for Women Media Professionals,” encompassed a comprehensive agenda.

The focal point was to equip women media professionals with cutting-edge skills and data, enabling them to carry out their tasks with confidence and peace of mind. By presenting the latest industry insights and providing valuable training opportunities, this conference aimed to empower women journalists to overcome challenges and thrive in their careers.

The conference comprised a series of interactive sessions that facilitated dynamic exchanges between distinguished panelists and active participants. These sessions provided valuable insights on various topics, including strategies to prevent gender-based violence, ethical capacity building to unlock our full potential, and the available resources to support women who have experienced online violence, such as the Women Empowerment Safe Spaces and UN Women spaces. Moreover, the sessions encouraged knowledge sharing, networking, and collaboration among the attendees.

Overall, the IAWRT regional conference in Yaounde, Cameroon, served as a significant milestone in advancing gender equality and empowering women in the media industry. Through its interactive sessions, the conference not only provided valuable insights on pressing issues but also promoted a culture of sharing and collaboration. By equipping women media professionals with the necessary skills and resources, the conference aimed to create an inclusive and diverse media landscape where women can thrive and contribute their utmost potential.


– IAWRT: Tchonko Becky Bissong, Patience Wingo, Raziah Quallatein Mwawanga, Ruth Enjeh

– Open Dreams: Bill Agha Njoh, Prince Donald Forghab, Shansel Mbaku, Krystie Makoubo, Epiphanie Ngasoh, Fabiola Darriska, Emmanuel Joseph illirimi

by IAWRT Cameroon


Are you a journalism student in Cameroon, male or female, year 1, 2, or 3? Are you a JMI studying in ASMAC/ESSTIC, JMC BUEA, SIANTOU or IFCPA and ICT University?  You can win a smartphone, IPAD, tablet or internet modem to facilitate your online research and studies by participating in this contest.

Write a journalistic story that can be published on a Print media, the web, TV or radio on 1 of two topics:


Upload your story (up to 100mb) including an adequate student identification badge latest Friday 10th of November 2023 by midnight to this link.

Successful contestants will be notified via your email, and or WhatsApp number.

The winner will receive motivational prizes on Friday 17th November 2023 during a Cultural Gala that will mark the end of the IAWRT Regional Conference hosted by IAWRT Cameroon chapter.

ELIGIBILITY. To be eligible to join the contest, one has to be:

  • A Cameroonian;
  • Able to speak and write and speak accurately in one of the official languages – ENGLISH or FRENCH;
  • Able to use the internet to upload their stories

TOPICS. Interested contestants are expected to submit on one or both of the following topics:


GENRES. Stories submitted for the contest should be:

  • For the print media
  • For the web (A story that can be Published on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  • For a radio news report
  • Or a TV news report

PROCEDURE. Each candidate is expected to upload their stories including their student’s batch or Identity card to this form by the November 10 deadline:


  • Monday October 30 2023 : Launch of Contest
  • Friday November 10 2023: End of Submissions.
  • Tuesday 14th November 2023: Announcement of Winners of the contest on IAWRT FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Friday 17th November 2023: Prize Awards during a Cultural Gala that will mark the end of the IAWRT Regional Conference hosted by Cameroon.

October 23 to 27 are important dates for women members of the Sisterhood Community Center in South Jakarta. They had the first training called Cellphone Cinema Workshop: Sharing Skills to Women Refugees in Indonesia, in which 15 women from Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Sri Lanka and Yemen managed to produce 10 short videos.

The training was handled by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Philippines and IAWRT USA composed of Lynda Catindig-Garcia, Philippine head, Sheila Katzman, head of IAWRT USA and Jola Diones-Mamangun, Vice President of IAWRT International. 

“The seminar-workshop with Sisterhood at Jakarta, Indonesia is a testament that IAWRT reaches out to women who need to upgrade their knowledge and skills in using tech, expressive arts for positive change,” said Lynda Garcia.

“We did trauma healing on day one and that was fantastic. This was followed by Citizen Journalism with Prof. Lynda Garcia. That was fantastic. The learning and sharing in both the trauma intervention and the Journalism training was super,” said Sheila Katzman. 

Jola Diones-Mamangun facilitated the workshop on basic mobile video production from the 2nd until the 5th day of the workshop. 

It was a partnership with Sisterhood Community Center led by Nimo Adam and with the support from Kiki Febriyanti, an IAWRT member from Indonesia and Nissa Cita, head of the board of the Sisterhood.

“The training provided by Sheila, Jola and Lynda from IAWRT has opened up new opportunities for the group of participants of The Sisterhood Community Center to express their stories through video. More than that, training enhances solidarity and empathy among participants as well as between facilitators and participants. Space for women refugees to learn and express themselves should be continued, through forum like these on a more regular basis. We need more creative people in media that could engage women refugees in a meaningful way like this,” said Nissa Cita, Board Member of The Sisterhood Community Center. 

The training was successful with the support of Taiwan Foundation for Democray (TFD).