Honoring brave women journalists on International Women’s Day
Today, as we commemorate the International Women’s Day, the International Association of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines honors brave women truthtellers in the country and around the world in the face of continuing and intensifying attacks against press freedom.
Detained journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, Manila Today editor Lady Ann Salem, veteran journalist Margarita Valle, and community journalist Anne Krueger are just few of the many brave women journalists in the country who have put a spotlight on the sufferings and aspirations of marginalized communities.
Globally, members of IAWRT in over 54 countries, which includes women journalists, communication researchers, filmmakers, among others, are also working with disadvantaged communities and documenting gendered experiences to counter authoritarian regimes that are on the rise.
Such brand of journalism and brave truthtelling do not sit well with the powers-that-be, and for this they are being discredited and attacked both as a journalist and as a woman. But they do not waver and have instead pushed back against misogyny and human rights violations.
In the country, IAWRT Philippines’ own sister Frenchie Mae continues to languish in jail for more than three years now over trumped up charges.
As the executive director of alternative media outfit Eastern Vista, anchor of a community radio Lingganay han Kamautoran that aired at DYVL Aksyon Radyo, and IAWRT’s community radio Radyo Tacloban, she has reported the continuing plight of Typhoon Haiyan survivors, and the human rights violations in the provinces of Samar and Leyte prior to her arrest.
She was subjected to surveillance and red-tagging, and later arrested in an attempt to silence her. She is currently facing trumped up illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges and a terror financing case before Tacloban and Manila courts, respectively.
In the face of intensifying attacks on our role as truthtellers, IAWRT Philippines urges its fellow women journalists and men allies in the field to stand united in upholding and defending press freedom.
Executive Board, International Association of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines