Remembering Gundel

Former IAWRT President Gundel Krauss Dahl passed away on February 13, 2022

Tribute from IAWRT Norway

Gundel’s voice, so often cheerful, enthusiastic and wise, will never be heard again. On February 13, she died suddenly and surprisingly. After 88 years her heart took its last beat. 

Gundel, married to Arne for 68 years, was blessed with three children, several grandchildren, and (nearly) three great-grandchildren. To her family and friends, she was known as «grandma». That is how she often presented herself. «I am grandma», she would say. But she was also a woman with a sharp intellect and a big heart, and she took a real interest in people. She always had time. We are many who have felt her warmth. 

Gundel leaves a great legacy behind. In 1958 she started working for NRK Radio, and for over 30 years she was NRK’s voice in the broadcasts abroad or the «seaman´s radio» as it was also called. Later she was entrusted with several management positions in NRK Radio and was also engaged in training new radio voices.

In the 1970´s Gundel became a strong promoter of international cooperation for female journalists. It started when she was encouraged by the then German president of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) to join the then 20-year-old organization. 

But at first, she was skeptical. She believed that there was no need for a separate organization for media women. But the NRK director thought it would be valuable for the broadcaster to be represented in an international organization that worked to promote women’s participation both in and through the media. Hence NRK paid for Gundel’s membership and covered conference costs. 

At the conferences, Gundel experienced firsthand the strength of the organization’s network and the opportunities that this entailed. She became part of a professional network that gave her both personal contacts and long-lasting friendships. The members shared knowledge and experiences, and in collaboration with other organizations, they could provide members with access to internships and scholarships. They also engaged in projects for women beyond the organization, such as providing women in Nepal with access to information about their rights through the media.

This work became deeply meaningful for Gundel, and IAWRT shaped a large part of her life in the years to come. Until her death she has been an important resource for the organization and a great role model for us who have followed. When she became IAWRT’s President in 1997, she took important steps to secure funding for the organization and its operations. Not all members from Asia and Africa had bosses who paid for their participation. Gundel formed the IAWRT’s first national chapter in Norway. And as a Norwegian women’s organization, IAWRT Norway could become a member of the umbrella organization FOKUS, which secured funding for 20 years.

Without this support, the organization would not have been what it is today. We are many who have a lot to thank Gundel for. She will be deeply missed.