The three days of 39th IAWRT Biennial Conference took place from 18 to 20November 2022. This year, marks the Biennial Conference with the theme on the gendered Media perspectives on 3C’s: Conflict, COVID and Climate Change, their challenges and how they impact the lives of women in media.

It was hosted by IAWRT Tanzania Chapter, where IAWRT delegates from all chapters worldwide met at the Golden Tulip Hotel Airport Zanzibar, Tanzania. This conference provides a platform for engagement of women journalist globally both physically and virtually.

Photo by Jola Diones-Mamangun: Launching of the book – “Lives, Jobs, Homeland: Afghan Women Journalists Lose All”. From left Reena Mohan (India), Michelle Ferrier (USA), Violet Gonda (Zimbabwe) and Nupur Basu (India)

Each day featured a unique thematic area with Day One focusing on conflict with presentations of Breaking Social Barriers to Women Leadership in Tanzania using Media, Status of Women Journalists, and the second agenda was on Safety, Resistance and Resilience. The main plenary for the first day was Afghanistan after Taliban: Status of Women Journalists where the testimonies came from Abdul Basir Quraishi, Najiba Ayubi and Somaia Walizadeh, all IAWRT Afghanistan members and online. Reena Mohan (India) and Elisabeth Eide (online) of the Journalism and Media International Center (JMIC) of the OsloMet Norway were also shared their stories about the status of the Afghan journalists during the invasion of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Sharmin Boyle (online) of Internews Pakistan was also present and their sponsored book “Lives, Jobs, Homeland: Afghan Women Journalists Lose All” was launched.

Photo by Jola Diones-Mamangun: (From left) Violet Gonda (Zimbabwe), (Top)  Sue Onslow (UK),  (Below) Oona Solberg (Norway) and Colette Simonne Heefner (USA)

Day Two started with the information about the IAWRT Digital Safe House (DSH) Project which launched in the Philippines to empower women living under threat. Lady Ann Salem, IAWRT communication officer and lead speaker of the session explained the importance of the DSH in the Philippines. The second session was focused on DSH for the Journalists at Risk and Way Forward. Speakers were Colette Simone Heefner of International Media Support (IMS), Oona Solberg of Journalism and Media International Center (JMIC), Sue Onslow of Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, Therese Patricia San Diego Torres of DSH Philippines, Birgitte Jallov of DSH Moldova and Ukraine and Greta Gober, the DSH proposal writer. The session was moderated by Violet Gonda, the previous IAWRT president.

(Photo by Jola Diones-Mamangun) Climate Change Plenary and moderated by Michelle Ferrier.

Another plenary session on Countdown to Climate Change was next and moderated by Michelle Ferrier, the new international board president.

The participants were then divided into breakup workshop groups which focused on three areas: Fake news, Media Methodology, and Breaking the Glass Ceiling in Women at Work.

(Photo by Rebecca Myles: New IAWRT International Board – (From left) Raziah Quallatein Mwawanga (Tanzania) – Board Member, Mandira Raut (Nepal) – Secretary, Jola Diones Mamangun (Philippines) – Vice President and Michelle Ferrier (USA) – President. Not in the photo – Josephine Karani (Kenya) – Treasurer, Kreshma Fakhri (Afghanistan) and Anjali Monteiro (India) for Board Members.

The Third Day and final day of the 39th IAWRT Biennial conference was focused on the Untold Stories of COVID 19, and its impact on women in media, lesson learnt and how to prepare ourselves, Different experiences and challenges that were encountered in different countries for example loss of jobs, loss of life, and lack of adequate funds etc.

(Photo by Therese Patricia San Diego Torres: Treasurer Jola Diones-Mamangun shared her three years report to the IAWRT members.

Final session of the conference was highlighted by the reports from the IAWRT president and treasurer,  Violet Gonda and Jola Diones-Mamangun. It was followed by the chapter reports from Afghanistan, Cameroon, India, Iraq-Kurdistan, Kenya, Nepal, Norway, Moldova, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, USA and the new IAWRT chapter – Sierra Leone. Different committees also shared their reports. The turned-over ceremony of the new IAWRT International Board was also one of the highlights.

(Photo by Nupur Basu) Out-going IAWRT International Board – (from left) Secretary – Eunice Kasirye (Uganda), Board Member – Reena Mohan (India), Vice President – Greta Gober (Poland), Treasurer – Jola Diones-Mamangun. (Philippines), Fatuma Matulanga (IAWRT Tanzania Head), Board Members – Mandira Raut (Nepal) and Bibiana Piene (Norway), and President – Violet Gonda.

The day was concluded by the awarding of six IAWRT members for their Outstanding Dedication & Commitment to the IAWRT organization.Namely Rose Haji Mwalimu (Tanzania), Birgitte Jalov (Denmark), Nupur Basu (India), Liz Miller (Canada), Sheila Katzman (USA) and Nonee Walsh (Australia). And the Gala Night and Dinner with IAWRT members.

IAWRT Group photo by Jek Alcaraz.