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).


RSVP to confirm your participation via ZOOM: You will be sent the links to connect to our meeting.

The 2023 IAWRT Regional Conference will be held hybrid from the 16th -17th November 2023. It will be held physically at the Hotel Franco in Yaounde, Cameroon and virtually globally.

The theme of the Conference is “Creating Safe and Productive Spaces for Media Women Professionals’’ and will be officiated by the Honourable Minister of Post and Telecommunication and representative members from our host chapter IAWRT Cameroon.

IAWRT members and experts will deep dive and analyze the role of ICT in promoting and protecting women journalists and communicators and mainstreaming peace and ethical journalism.

Other panels and workshops on our schedule include:

  • Media Women and Digital Transformation: Opportunities, Challenges and Perspectives
  • Online Trolling, Conflicts and Online Violence Against Women
  • Safety for Journalists: Online and Offline in Times of Conflict
  • Enhancing Digital Skills for Media Women’s Safety
  • Creativity and Productivity for Women Journalists in the Digital Era
  • Women in Filmmaking: Breaking Barriers
  • Exploring Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Media Women on how to start and sustain their own media ventures
  • Digital Platforms for Advocacy
  • Screening of Cameroon documentary on how conflicts impact the lives of of women
  • Preparation for the Commission on the Status of Women 2024
  • Members Meeting (A separate meeting link will be sent for our business meeting to registered members).

RSVP to confirm your participation:

The dismissal of the cases against journalist and IAWRT Communications Officer Lady Ann Salem at the Court of Appeals (CA) was cause for celebration among IAWRT and journalists’ communities in the Philippines and elsewhere. It was the case that had been impending since Salem was set free—almost two years—as the government lawyers promptly pursued the trumped-up cases against her.

While the case was pending at the CA, Salem worked to launch IAWRT’s Digital Safe House in the Philippines in 2021 and continued as IAWRT Communications Officer up to the present. She is also a current media fellow of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development.

In January and August this year, the Appellate Court dismissed the government’s lawyer’s petition and upheld the trial court’s findings that set Salem free after almost three months in jail. Among them, the CA recognized how the inconsistencies in the testimonies of the police and their informant revealed the impossibility of their claims and how Salem’s rights were violated in the search that was implemented at her home on December 10, 2020.  Salem’s case at the trial court was among the fastest dismissal of cases of political persecution in the country.

However, the government lawyers moved to go after Salem up to the Highest Court in the Philippines when they filed their appeal to the CA decision on September 27, made known to Salem and her counsels on October 13.

Salem was also recently red-tagged by former government officials from the previous Duterte administration over the TV network SMNI, where the hosts said that freed political prisoners like Salem should be charged with the Anti-Terrorism Law.

IAWRT trusts that justice will prevail and that the Ph Supreme Court will find this case to be a teaching moment for upholding the constitutional rights of Filipinos against unreasonable search and seizures and arrests, abuse of authority and political persecution.

The theme for the 3rd IAWRT Nepal Women’s Film Festival is ‘Unveiling the World Through Her Lens.’ The film festival will culminate on November 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Nepal Film Development Board in Kathmandu.

The event features a short film competition that is open to citizens of Nepal. Submission of entries is until October 22. Contact film festival director Sangita Shrestha or send your film link to [email protected] or [email protected].

Films from foreign filmmakers will be screened on November 25.

IAWRT Cameroon chapter head Tchonko Becky Bissong was appointed as the new Department in charge of TV programming in CRTV in state broadcaster Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV). 

An official installation ceremony was held on September 4 at CRTV’s head office which was chaired by the Director General –Mr. Charles Ndongo and his Deputy Emmanuel Wongibe.  The appointments were one of the major resolutions of an Extraordinary Board meeting of the CRTV; and so there were many promotions ranging from professional ranks to operation executive positions. 

“I feel honoured and privileged that amongst the several competent colleagues who could have been called to serve the CRTV as TV programmer, the CRTV Management threw her arguments on my person… I feel terrified by the immense work that this entails, but somewhat excited, since my creativity and sense of innovation will be put to test, by the fact that I am also called to propose a relooking of what programmes we offer to our diverse viewers who are more and more exigent to the state broadcaster. 

Becky has been a producer for CRTV’s radio for over 20 years. 

“About leaving the radio after over 2 decades, these are mixed feelings! Of course, because I leave a familiar environment where I had groomed several young journalists; most importantly, I leave the airwaves where I had become a dependable voice, especially for women and girls, but also, Radio through which I have become a media personality beyond Cameroon,” shared Becky. 

She served as Unit head in charge of Major events from 2014 to 2017, then as Unit head in charge of Quality Control of Radio programmes from July 2017 to August 2023. She said the last two positions she held in radio seemed to have prepared her for her present job. 

“As Head of Department in charge of programming, my primordial role requires that I ensure quality, diversified, educative and attractive content on the CRTV Premium / Classical/ mother channel. This entails featuring programmes for different categories of viewers: from administrative and political, through development partners, Diplomacy and CSOs, to the different socio-cultural components with their varied needs and expectations. To attain this objective I am called to collaborate with all 10 regional stations, get programmes produced by CRTV Productions and also acquire programmes from external local and foreign producers.  My department is also charged with coordinating and harmonizing live broadcasts of special and National events, as well as the promotion of programmes that will be screened daily. The task is vast, compact, delicate and strategic!” said Becky. 

While the new role is challenging, Becky thinks the new post came at the right moment.

“You know that monotony is counter-productive for anyone. Actuality there have been times when I felt that I should convey my energy towards something different, something new and something more challenging.  And for the practicing Christian that I am, I believe God answered my prayers with this totally new and challenging position,” shared Becky. 

But even prior to this new achievement, Becky feels that she has fulfilled her life’s dream of being a broadcast journalist for 22 years. And through that work, she was able to help thousands of people. 

“I was able to echo the problems of the marginalized, underprivileged and diminished. I was able to reach scores of thousands of listeners in Cameroon and abroad, pointing to the powers that be and how they should channel resources so as to human-centred decisions for impactful development. I was able to point to the taboos, to condemn human rights violations on women and Girls to sensitize them against stigmatization and I was able to speak for equal chances, equal opportunities, the empowerment of women and Girls and the effective participation of women in the decision-making process,” said Becky.  

But her work is not yet done. 

“Though I move to the TV, CRTV is a corporation and a network. I have the responsibility to ensure continuity on the airwaves for the Radio shows… so I have been grooming some young, daring talents to take over…The shift to TV is a call from hierarchy which many would love. For me, this means that the management of CRTV has been following up my career evolution and believes that I am up to the task. Although it looks scary, I have met quite an enthusiastic and neatly woven team here.  I am convinced that with the guiding principles of humility, availability and hard work, teamwork is the magic key that can change challenges to enviable positive results,” she enthused.