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Women journalists’ situation in Afghanistan

The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) Afghanistan chapter launched at the 39th IAWRT Biennial Conference their report about the dangers, challenges and changes that female journalists have been facing in Afghanistan since August 2021. 

Called Lives, Jobs, Homeland: Afghan Women Lose it All, the report’s statistics are horrific for women journalists, who lost everything with the Taliban hardline Islamic regime. 

Every respondent to the survey reported threats and harassment since the takeover. One hundred percent — 100% of the respondents reported that they had received threats since the change of leadership.

From the IAWRT Biennial Committee

The countdown to the IAWRT Biennial 2022 has begun!

Get ready to pack your bags and be part of the 39th Biennial Conference being hosted on the beautiful island of Zanzibar on November 18 – 20.

The conference Gendered media perspectives: COVID, CONFLICT and CLIMATE CHANGE will include panels and plenary sessions that will invigorate and energize your minds. In addition there will be a number of workshops, such as trainings to use cell phones to make climate change documentaries, safety trainings, fact checking and how to protect yourself from online abuse.

All panel sessions and some of the workshops will be streamed so they can be followed online. The opening of the conference will be broadcasted on TV by the Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).

If you are planning to attend the Biennial – physically or digitally – please fill out this registration form: https://forms.gle/5WCZm5L93wZF3imB7

Get yourself involved!

IAWRT members will soon elect a new international board to run the organisation. The Election will be held ONLINE in late September BEFORE the November 18 Biennial in Tanzania. 

Nominate a colleague or become a candidate and vote in September! Nominations are now being received. and will close on August 28, 23H GMT. Membership fees must also be up to date by that date.

The election will again be held online, and paid-up members will receive a secure link to vote.

Candidates should note that they are being asked to provide a video or audio piece to explain their aims to the members. Nomination forms have also been updated for 2022.


August 8 nominations open

September – the elections committee will make that election material available to voting members and also arrange opportunities for online meet-the-candidate sessions.

September 28, 23H GMT voting starts via the link issued to members 

October 2, 23H GMT voting ends 

October 3/4: Results will be issued. Incoming members will be invited to join the outgoing board as non-voting members in order the become familiar with IAWRT operations.


Election Committee Guidelines for IAWRT 2022 election

2022 President IAWRT Nomination form

2022 Vice President IAWRT Nomination form 

2022 Treasurer IAWRT Nomination form 

2022 Secretary IAWRT Nomination form 

2022 Board Member IAWRT Nomination form

Draft Code of Ethics & Election Guidelines

NB: Read forms carefully, they have been updated for 2022, and good luck!



Each of the members has been talking to past board members to get their views – read on.


Interview with Reena Mohan –  IAWRT board member 2020-2022

by Rose Haji Mwalimu

July 2022

  • What does it mean to be a board member? What inspired you to become a board member?

It’s been a bit of a tradition to have a board member from the India Chapter. Archana Kapoor was my predecessor on the board and when she decided she didn’t want to run another term I think I was pushed into contesting the elections.

  • What do you think the role of a board member is, in particular, but also on IAWRT’s mission, in defining the parameters and the choices?

During my term on the board, we’ve had two crises that the network had never dealt with before. As soon as the elections got over, we had to hit the ground running. Icy, our Communications Officer, was arrested and we had to appeal for her release, collect funds to cover legal expenses, etc. Later in August 2021, the Taliban took political control over Afghanistan and our chapter there was in disarray. Many members received death threats and had to flee their homeland. I think I am happy that I could contribute on both occasions towards helping in times of acute distress.

I really think that the work of a board member is non-stop. However, it’s impossible to be active professionally and also be engaged full-time with the work of the board. It helps to have committees where the duties are segregated either according to the office you hold, the country you’re from, the specific talents you may have… everyone works together as a team towards the growth of the network but in separate committees. 

I am part of the Afghanistan crisis committee as well on the Mentoring Program. Two new committees. It’s been very rewarding because I’ve worked closely with other members and together we really have contributed something.

  • You have lived through so many changes in so many different IAWRT governing boards from the time you joined the organization. What would you say are the significant changes to put into record?

I joined IAWRT in 2010 and became head of the India Chapter from 2012- 2015. During my term in office, we streamlined the functioning of the chapter (strengthened and improved the Asian Women’s Film Festival, began filing tax returns, obtained government clearance to receive donations, and made connections with several NGOs and organizations to fund some of our activities, pushed towards setting up the Afghanistan chapter, helped set up the Herat International Women’s Film Festival, etc)

This is my first term on the International board and I have already spelled out what I have done.

  • You are an incumbent board member to have volunteered for one term, what are your experiences in ensuring growth of the organisation? What do you give and take from IAWRT?

Two incidents – Icy’s arrest and the Taliban takeover – have shown how useful it is to be part of a network that can lobby on your behalf and be a source of strength and moral support.

  • How is IAWRT’s mission trying to achieve change on the globe, particularly women or younger generations?

I think we haven’t done enough as far as attracting younger members is concerned. We also haven’t done enough tapping into the vast pool of talent we have among the younger lot. We need to continue with scholarships and chapter activities. We need to have more solid ongoing research work and surveys. We need to have chapters connecting better with each other. We need a digital archive so that members can get a sense of the history of the network and access the work that’s been done previously (films, research projects, etc). We should be doing lengthy interviews with older members as ongoing documentation. There’s a lot that needs to be done not necessarily by board members but across the globe among members in general.

  • IAWRT is publicizing the upcoming 2022 election, are you intending to vie for any position? Why?

Not standing this year. It’s very demanding and I have had to invest a lot of time and energy in many activities. I feel exhausted and want to slow down.

  • What is your call to members?

It’s fun, it’s challenging. If you can work well as a team member, step forward and contribute your bit.


Interview with IAWRT Secretary Nankwanga Eunice Kasirye and former Secretary Violet Gonda

By Nonee Walsh

The simple answer is – it is hard administrative volunteer work, and its degree of difficulty very much depends on what country you are in and what resources you have at your disposal. It is inadvisable to nominate for this position if you have not served at least one term on the IAWRT International board and have time to devote to it.

Nankwanga Eunice Kasirye (Eunice) from Uganda, has served as IAWRT secretary since 2020.  She served at the time when IAWRT no longer had dedicated organisational funding or dedicated full-time paid staff.

“I love IAWRT, I want it to blossom, because without IAWRT I would not have this global network I have through the members. Being the Secretary has given me a big experience – it helps me to revise how I look at things and how I do my work on other platforms, how I handle people, and their expectations. Realistically it is a big opportunity to explore my abilities.”

However, the IAWRT secretary is charged with responsibility for the secretariat – both external (newsletter editing / website) and internal (records board minutes etc), with no funding and only part time secretarial support from another country, so it can be very hard work. The IAWRT Secretariat in 2022 is in fact one person in the Philippines, employed half-time to be the communications officer and responsible for administration required by the President and the board.

Eunice does not edit the website, but writes statements and reports, as well as organising for board and chapter heads meetings, along with other responsibilities, as assigned.

‘It can be almost a full-time job to meet expectations: to prepare agendas and minutes for the board, support committees and chapters, check reports to members and the newsletters, without direct support” she says.

Outgoing IAWRT President, Violet Gonda says “above all, time and commitment is key! People in full time jobs may not be able to handle this position properly.”

 “The position requires someone with time, who can write and is a communicator. That person has to be able to step in and complement the Communications Officer and also communicate with members and not wait for instructions… they must be able to take initiatives… and be able to supervise others.”

Violet served two terms as IAWRT secretary before becoming treasurer in 2015, when IAWRT was just emerging from a period when many board members from Europe had been supported by their broadcasting employers for many decades, to do work for IAWRT.  It was a very different organisation then, with base funding from Norwegian FOKUS close to ending and the organisation starting to operate on project by project funding.

The difficulties of being IAWRT Secretary are compounded in countries where private internet connections are expensive and often poor. This is especially an issue for women working for government media or government itself, who are constantly monitored, necessitating personal investment in computers, VPN’s, or independent communications methods in order to work for IAWRT.

Eunice  says current project based funding has created a situation where members might be legitimately paid to work on projects, but supervision and due diligence is falling to IAWRT’s unpaid executive  members, who can become demoralised, doing unrecognised unpaid work after their full-time jobs.

Nonetheless, Eunice believes that the situation can be dealt with by clarity –  “clear rules for the board to improve operation,  where members agree to disagree, to create a collegial environment and maintain membership; to ensure that members who demand clarity on issues, never feel victimised or isolated and cliques do not form.” 

“ There should be a spirit of free expression in the organisation,“I do feel that the board can do better, to operate as an international association of women in radio and television, where criticism can be heard and discussed freely and every member – board or ordinary – feels supported in their work in the media, whatever or wherever that is.”


Jola Diones Mamangun, Treasurer of IAWRT from 2017 – 2022

By Frieda Werden

“Working as IAWRT Treasurer is a bit stressful. but challenging. I love numbers. I love new ideas. Learning while working is my principle. Since I chose the position for two consecutive terms, I was obliged to work hard to meet the expectations of the board and the organization. I have done my best.  

Working without an IAWRT accountant or a finance officer is really another challenge. I am doing the job alone, without payment, but I still want to continue helping out. I loved being the treasurer and I want to thank IAWRT for choosing me and trusting me.

“We don’t need an expert, but we need an honest person for this position.”

Here is a general list of duties of the IAWRT Treasurer, as carried out by Jola during her term in that office – followed by her answers to specific questions:

  1. I am a member of the fundraising committee whis has the task of looking for funds for IAWRT’s plans and program. Even small funds, like the Journalism and Media International Center in Norway and Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, these really help IAWRT, especially for payment of a the part-time Communication Officer.
  2. I check the financial report from the accountant (Solveig Helvig in Norway did that in the past, then Sanaf Marcelo in the Philippines for a short time). But I’m sad to say I am the one who has been doing the financial report for three years now.
  3. Write to the members and chapter heads about paying their IAWRT membership dues.
  4. Keeping all the financial records, which in the past has been the task of the accountant.
  5. Do the finalisation / liquidation of any funded project and hand it to the external auditor.
  6. Manage small projects for IAWRT. Larger ones should be managed by the executive board.

I gave my time almost fulltime, in recent years for IAWRT.

What bookkeeping or accounting software (if any) is used by IAWRT?
We are using a spreadsheet from Mac.

What forms and specific reports must be filled out (for instance, to report to taxing authority in the Philippines)?
After an annual report for IAWRT, we submitted it to the external auditor.  Then she audits it and submit it to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), then to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines. These are all required from all non-profit and non-commercial incorporations.

Does the Treasurer reimburse expenses, and how is that done? Who authorizes it, and what method(s) are used for funds transfers?
Yes, I did the reimbursements directly, (if there are any – it is very minimal). But before that, it was the admin and finance officer who collated the receipts for reimbursement, then I would check and approve it. We have no budget for the admin and finance now.

Do different funders require different kinds of financial statements in their applications and different kinds of interim and final reports?
Yes, every funder has their own type of financial statement and report. Some of them have templates. If the project is small, they will not require a finance auditor. But if the project is big, we need an auditor for the project.

Don’t non-profit annual reports have to be audited by a registered accountant?  If we don’t have one, I presume we will need one. How much money needs to be raised to pay for such services?
The payment for the registered accountant or financial auditor is based on the amount of the project. There is no standard payment. IAWRT International has an external auditor. For a yearly report, we pay her $100. For project reports, it ranges from $250 to $1000 and 1000 Euro.

Where is IAWRT International’s non-profit status registered?  Do we have to use an auditor based in that country?

IAWRT International is registered in the Philippines. So, the financial audit must be done in the Philippines. It is also registered in Norway, I believe.

If the treasurer is in a different country do we keep the same bank account?  If so, how is the handing over of the signing to a new person done?
The issue of the treasurer must be discussed by the new international board for 2022. Even if the treasurer is not a Filipino, there must be an accountant or admin and finance to handle the finances of IAWRT in the Philippines. The admin and finance must be a Filipino. All the financial transactions made by the admin and finance must be approved by the treasurer or the executive board.

Do checks and funds transfers have to be co-signed, or does the treasurer have sole authority? Is there a backup treasurer who is ready to step in if necessary?
Right now, me (treasurer), Icy, Lady Ann Salem (communications officer) and Sanaf Marcelo (past
admin and finance staff) are the signatories on the IAWRT bank account in the Philippines. Every transaction needs two signatories. We created a local board (IAWRT International) to apply for the bank account. Foreigners are prohibited from SEC registration in the Philippines.

Are there ongoing fundraising projects the new Treasurer would be expected to pick up?
IAWRT has ongoing projects – IMS for the Digital Safe House (DSH) Philippines, UNESCO and JMIC for the Climate Change projects. IMS/CAOV for Moldova/Ukraine DSH project. I will suggest to the new international board that I should finish the liquidations and reports of those 2022 projects, before I step down.

What does the cash flow of IAWRT look like?
The cash flow is dependent on the administrative funds from IAWRT projects and regular payment of memberships, helps. We only need to pay the secretariat, which is Icy as communication officer, because we have no budget for a membership officer and administration and finance staff. There are some small expenses like transportation to the bank ($6 per transaction), internet fees for the treasurer ($30/month) and the yearly gift to the staff in the Robbinsdale Residences (our old office) as they allowed us to use their space for the address of the secretariat office.


Interview with Violet Gonda IAWRT President 2017 -2022

By Anupa Shrestha

Experiences were Challenging but Fulfilling…

You have been in the IAWRT board in different roles as a treasurer, secretary, and president. How was your experience serving IAWRT board in different roles?

Secretary and Treasurer: I was fortunate enough to work in these two roles during the time that IAWRT was fully funded by FOKUS… so we had a funded secretariat that ran the day-to-day business under my supervision. I was able to fully monitor the running of the organisation in my role as secretary, assisted by the communications officer; and as Treasurer assisted by the Finance Office.

When you have these support systems in place the workload is easier and you are able to focus more on the various parts of your roles and responsibilities as stipulated in the Guiding Documents.

President: This was different, as I inherited an organisation without funding and without proper support systems for office bearers, resulting in serious challenges. It meant being distracted from the practical side of running the organisation’s project and activities. I have spent more time trying to keep the organisation afloat and fundraising – a job that ideally should have been for an administrator/fundraiser.

IAWRT was spoilt, with having only one funder for 20 years, so this meant when we lost our funding in 2017, we had to start from the beginning to build networks, partners… to establish ourselves on the world map… that takes time – and in a way, that is one of the most important areas I had to tackle as President. You can write the best proposals in the world but nowadays, if your organisation is not known, that application just goes to the bottom of the pile… I am proud to say we have now built a strong network of strategic international partners – and some of them, like the International Media Support (IMS) has also started fundraising on our behalf and introducing us to potential donors…It certainly helped that I had a dedicated Treasurer (Jola), who has been my right-hand person from the very beginning. But it meant as President, I spent most of our time doing proposals, setting up meetings (some I had to self-sponsor, to meet potential partners).

You had to face crisis like the covid pandemic and also the new method of electronic elections during your terms as president. How did you overcome the challenge?

Despite the Terrible Effects of the COVID Pandemic …

This crisis actually helped us reunite and pull together our network. The world went virtual and so did IAWRT. We moved all our activities online and we were able to conduct a record amount of panel discussions, seminars, and workshops on various issues and with multiple international organisations.

We also connected with the Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) Journalism and Media International Centre (JMIC) and partnered with them to conduct webinars on the safety of journalists and climate change issues; not only were we able to now involve our members from all over the world (something a physical biennial could not do) but we were also to get funding for this… including funded virtual chapter activities…. even chapters that had been dormant for many years, e.g Cambodia, Tanzania and Moldova. We even organised our first ever All Africa Chapters event and secured funding for it.

As President, I have maintained contact with all these organisations and have formal virtual meetings regularly with the JMIC, UNESCO, IMS etc.

We delivered e-voting, an election that ran smoothly and involved many more members than before – and it was conflict-free… an issue that is very important to me as past face-to-face elections marred biennial conferences. Conferences were becoming toxic environments because of the competitive nature of elections. 

What did take from IAWRT in this long period of working?
I ran for office in 2017 on a campaign to rebuild the organisation – even though the funding situation is still work in progress – I believe this board has managed to put structures in place to help professionalise the organisation. We have created several working committees to help run specific activities… e.g Mentoring Committee, Digital Safe House Committee, Afghanistan Committee, Climate Change, Long Doco etc… all to compliment the work of the board and follow through with work required for their respective Committees … we even drew up a 5 year strategic plan to complement our statutes and guiding documents on what and where we want the organisation to be in the next few years. Rome was not built in a day but at least it’s a start and I will always be available to help the organisation when needed.  

How is the IAWRT’s mission trying to achieve change on the globe, particularly women or young generations?

We are partnering with likeminded organisations to be at the forefront of global issues to do with women in the media. Our strategic plan illustrates this mission very well. IAWRT is more visible internationally now as we issue statements on significant world events, we are invited to participate in international campaigns, and we hope projects such as the Digital Safe House platforms will help to create safe spaces for women journalists at risk. 

What is your call to members?
The Board and the Secretariat cannot do it on their own… every member has a duty to step up and be part of this organisation… IAWRT needs members to be more active to help keep the organisation grow.

What is your future plan with IAWRT?

To handover an organisation with a fighting chance’ to the next board… IAWRT has to stand for something and be known internationally for spearheading specific causes – one of those is designing digital safe houses… we have already started the ball rolling in the Philippines, Afghanistan and Moldova… We need core projects that help our members and address global issues such as climate change activities… We also need to continue with our mentoring activities as they not only help provide much needed skills training for our members but also help to maintain and develop relations between our more experienced/veteran members and the younger/new members.


Book title: Balancing the Wisdom Tree: Anthology of FTII’s Women Alumni
Published by Publications Division, India as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of FTII’s establishment
Edited by Gauri D Chakraborty
Book design: Anuj Malhotra

The book edited by IAWRT India chapter member Gauri D Chakraborty traces the journeys and work of women Alumni from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune (FTII) since its inception. The publication is a collaboration between Publications Division, India and FTII, Pune.

Readers will get an opportunity to know the inspirations behind training in film from the first woman graduate Parvati Menon in 1966 to director Payal Kapadia, who was awarded at the Cannes in 2021. This range of experience sharing of women filmmakers is unforeseen in any earlier publication on cinema. 

Chakraborty, editor of the book is alumnus from the institution and conceptualized it. She was mentored by Reena Mohan, also an FTII alumnae and IAWRT Board member.

“The archiving of human stories carries the much-needed attention and significance to equate gender discourse on a larger scale. Therefore, it is also important that both practitioners as well as researchers indulge in the contents of this pioneering compilation. The book instigates thought to move beyond gender equity and towards creating gender balance – and hence the title Balancing the Wisdom Tree – Anthology of FTII’s Women Alumni,” shared Chakraborty.

Shabana Azmiji, internationally known actor and FTII Alumnae has given the foreword of the compilation. It adds the much-needed endorsement to the work. 

Arunaraje Patil, eminent filmmaker and FTII alumnus released the book at Kolkata along with the former director of FTII, Mr Bhupendra Kainthola (who is now DG, Press Information Bureau, east zone). The other alumni who supported the herculean were Gissy Michael and Dorothy Varma.

Work started in November 2020 and the book was formally released on 8th March 2022 as part of International Women’s Day celebrations at the 45th International Kolkata Book Fair.

The book celebrates and acknowledges the contribution of women alumni who were part of this institution. As a premier film education institute, established in the early 60’s, FTII has the impeccable record of producing some of the most varied and diverse storytellers in the country. The content registers and celebrates the insurmountable contribution of the alumnae of the Institute as pioneers, innovators, creators, storytellers and, above all, achievers in their chosen careers.

The book has three segments which include conversations between alumni, personal reflections but, most importantly, it details the work of approximately 503 women who graduated from FTII between 1965-2016. FTII is the premier training institution in Asia.

The first segment of the book, Conversations creates the dialogue on the choices, pathways, commonalties, individual trajectories and politics of the alumni who engage with each other beliefs and work.

The second segment is personal memoirs titled as Reflections. It uncovers the nuances and shades of these girls being at film school and the learnings.

The last segment Bionotes lists down the work of 503 women alumni over sixty years with a short profile of their work and contribution to the media and entertainment sector of India and as participants of its evolution. The significance of this publication is that it includes all women who ever graduated in the last six decades.

“This publication registers and celebrates the insurmountable contribution of the alumnae of the Institute as pioneers, innovators, creators, storytellers and, above all, achievers in their chosen careers. Their diverse trajectories correspond with the simultaneity of the evolution of the medium itself. The unique journey of each confirms the need of cumulating memoirs and data on alumnae from the most prestigious film training school in Asia, my own alma mater – Film and Television Institute of India, Pune,” said Chakraborty.

She said the book will initiate innumerable research possibilities for future scholars in gender studies.

“The passage through its 60 years of existence is not only revealing of the socio-cultural dynamic in India but has the potency to inform the coming decades as well. A series of conversations and reminiscences uncover this transformation,” she added.

Quantitatively, a brief insight into the number of alumnae reveals another important narrative. In the 35 years between 1965–2000, 150 women graduated while approximately 350 women were trained between 2000–2019, the data being a clear indication that in recent years far greater numbers of women have enrolled at the premier institution for formal training in film and television.

Yet these are on a significantly lower scale considering far more men trained from the Institute have entered the multi-structured film, media education and training landscape.

Read the Review on Scroll by Nandini Ramnath:

The book is available on Amazon and can also be sourced by emailing  [email protected] with cc to [email protected]

By: Benaz Batrawi/Ramallah

Shireen, 51, spent the last 25 years reporting for Al-Jazeera Arabic Channel. Before that, she worked for other media outlets during the mid of 90ts including the Voice of Palestine and Mont Carlo Radio.

Shireen was shot dead by the Israeli Army in Jenin in the West Bank on May 11, 2022 while wearing a body armor and a helmet clearly-marked “PRESS.”

Photo Aljarmaq News

Shireen’s funeral was the longest in Palestine, lasting for three days, and going through four Palestinian cities: Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and lastly in Jerusalem, where she was laid to rest.  Shireen was mourned by millions of Palestinians inside the country and in diaspora, in addition to millions of Arabs and internationals around the world.

Her colleagues at Al-Jazeera felt devastated by her assassination and cried for days during her long funeral. They all expressed their sorrow for losing such a professional, smart, objective and kind journalist.

Majdi Banoura, the cameraman who companioned her for long years and filmed her being shot dead said, “We worked together for 24 years and [I] still do not believe that she is gone, she considered us her big family.”

For the first time I cannot say or write about such an event.

Jivara Budeiri, her colleague and the second female reporter at Al-Jazeera in Ramallah office

Walid Omary the Bureau Chief of Al-Jazeera Office in Palestine commented in front of Shireen’s grave, “Good bye Shireen and thanks a lot for being who you are, you reunited all the Palestinian people again.”

Her childhood friend Rula Muzaffar wrote on Facebook, “What people do not know about Shireen besides being a prominent journalist that she had a child spirit, she was funny, respectful, modest, honest, and wise.”

Her only brother Anton remarked on her death that “the loss is very big but the love and respect surrounded us makes us strong and pride, thanks for all who supported us.”

Her death wounds Palestinians and journalists in the world, who until this day and age, continue to suffer or die through similar circumstances – in areas or situations of conflict while she was just doing her job. To Palestinians and journalists around the world, Shireen Abu Akleh is a name to recognize for generations to come and until such time journalism is no longer a most dangerous profession.

The complete discussion surrounding climate change is an abstraction. What does two degrees Celsius actually mean to people? Information and debate are dominated by national governments, large enterprises, scientists, and academia. The vast majority of media depend on these experts for their coverage of climate change. Our community’s experience has been ignored; and left out of the search for solutions.

My Climate Change Story is a project initiated by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) to collect climate change vignettes from the people experiencing climate change first-hand and working together to protect the environment to make a difference. Submissions will be uploaded to My Climate Change YouTube Channel to begin a global discussion.

On March 18, 2022, we held our first event, in parallel with the 2022 UN Commission on the Status of Women, offering training in producing short videos using a cell phone. The two-hour session was oversubscribed by more than three times what the Zoom platform was able to accommodate, giving us a sense of the depth of interest and need for this training. The workshop covered ways to make the most of cell phone video capability – planning and storyboarding, angles and shot framing, and editing and uploading to YouTube channel – through demonstrations in plenary sessions and practical experience in breakout rooms. Workshop participants receive access for follow-up assistance.

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, May 3, 2022, we are organizing a virtual event to discuss the democratization of climate information. In the first part of the webinar, we will present two of the seven-minute vignettes submitted to My Climate Change YouTube channel. It will be followed by a panel of experts who will speak to the UNESCO theme and climate journalists. This past December Sasha Chavkin, of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Columbia Journalism Review, reported “Many of the countries that have seen the most violence against environmental defenders in recent years also rank near the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index.” Journalists must feel confident and safe to report their stories for the greater public good.

IAWRT’s ‘My Climate Change YouTube channel’ will contain original film shorts (three to seven minutes) created by women of all ages from countries around the world. The channel will be organized to highlight common themes, and to encourage future collaborations among participants, across boundaries of geography, culture, and age.  Contents will be shared with journalists, to add personal experience to climate news that otherwise focuses only on science and statistics, technologies and politics and other distancing facts. Ultimately, our goal is to promulgate the idea that the people most affected by climate change – especially women and girls – and those most active in making a difference have the right to be making decisions that affect their own and their families’ fates and to be involved in the formulating of solutions that are otherwise imposed by national governments and distant corporations.

Our goal is to not only empower our members to use their cell phones to tell their stories, but to also teach other women and girls to produce cellphone cinema, and to also build community support for their everyday work. My Climate Change Story YouTube Channel is a laboratory for innovation and solutions that can be shared and emulated globally.

Panel of Experts include:

  • Gaea Katreena Cabico, The Philippines
  • UNESCO Asia Pacific
  • Elisabeth Eide, JMIC Norway
  • Dr. Michelle Ferrier, TrollBusters (USA)
  • Teopista Nabusoba, Kenya

We won’t solve the climate crisis unless we solve the misinformation crisis.

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.

IAWRT Afghanistan Chapter President Najiba Ayubi did not think at first to leave the country. But when the Taliban showed outside her door, she started to think about how to get her whole family to safety.

This is not the first time she had to flee and not the first time armed men showed up at her home, yet she continued her work as a journalist. Now, she is finding ways to do so while in exile. 

As managing director of Killid Group, a non-profit media network that includes two of the country’s most popular magazines (Killid Weekly and Mursal Weekly) and eight radio stations with a total of 12 million listeners, Ayubi has previously experienced threats in line with her work. Her steadfastness and dedication earned her the 2013 Courage in Journalism Award by the International Women’s Media Foundation. She was also named as one of the 100 Information Heroes by Reporters Without Borders. 

In her program ‘Hot Seat’, IAWRT President Violet Gonda interviews Ayubi about her evacuation ordeal from Aghanistan to Germany and USA. The interview was done in December 2021 and published on February 3, 2022. The International Association of Women in Radio and Television has spent the last few months trying to assist its members to be evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country’s capital Kabul on August 15.