GLOBAL

International Women's Day 2018

A young Syrian woman waits to cross the border with her family on September 1, 2015 in Idomeni Greece.
A young Syrian woman waits to cross the border with her family on September 1, 2015 in Idomeni Greece. © Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

IWPR works to champion issues of women’s rights around the globe while supporting female reporters in sometimes challenging environments.

Our journalists, editors and partners not only highlight inequalities and abuses but also celebrate the achievements of women driving change in their own societies.

Standing Up for Change

Women’s rights are a pathway to addressing social and political challenges around the world.

Women are pressing publicly as never before for a realignment of relations between the genders and showing courage to stand up with fresh boldness – in offices and on the streets, in the press and social media, even before global audiences at the Academy Awards.

All these women take risks and deserve congratulations – and the men who stand with them.

Yet on International Women’s Day, IWPR celebrates those women who are standing up in even more challenging circumstances, and indeed those women who always have.

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In some of the most dangerous environments anywhere around the world, these women provide inspiration and hope. In areas of conflict, it is so often women who protect the family, sustain a semblance of normal life, drive humanitarian services – and take a stand against war itself.

In areas of dictatorship, it is so often women who lead human rights groups, build coalitions of support for democratic values, and nurture a plural and civic vision against corrupt cartels and “business as usual”.

And in areas of extreme religious influence, it is women who must find ways to take on a whole system and tradition of control – from access to education and work to health care and sexual choice. The ultimate challenge is to shift an entire mind set of human relations and the goal is in fact the liberation of both genders.

Over a quarter of a century, IWPR has been honoured to work with and to support an extraordinary line up of courageous women: from leading human rights defenders Natasha Kandic and Sonja Biserko in Belgrade to Gordana Igric and the entire women-led team of our former colleagues at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, from top frontline war reporters Gjeraqina Tuhina (Kosovo), Galima Bukharbaeva (Uzbekistan) and the late Sahar al-Haidari (Iraq) and Anna Politskaya (Russia) to the remarkable Nobel Laureate and former IWPR trainee Malala Yousafzai, and continuing now to award-winning Syrian documentary filmmaker Zaina Erhaim, among many others.

It is a long and storied roll call, and well beyond coincidence. Perhaps from their exclusion from male-dominated structures, women are sometimes able to see the problems more clearly: war makers cannot be peace builders. Perhaps, with less of a stake, they have less to lose and more of a motivation for change. Perhaps, suffering so sharply, they have no other choice but to fight – peacefully – for change, whether through the media, through activism or via the ballot box.

Just last week I was incredibly moved to meet a pair of local women activists who, unable to travel any other way, drove 24 hours across the highly insecure badlands of Libya to attend an IWPR training conference in Tunis – amazing tenacity and bravery. Special mention too to our proud partnership with the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network, commemorating the loss of a dear friend and one of the best war correspondents of a generation, and supporting continuing training and mentoring for female reporters across the Middle East.

The fact is that time has been up for a very, very long time, but a hashtag, however powerful, is not enough. For our part, IWPR is committed to continuing and expanding women’s programming, as well as “mainstreaming” its focus on gender equality within all activities. That will take work, and we pledge to keep at it. Women’s rights are absolutely human rights, and a pathway to addressing so many of the social and political challenges in difficult environments around the world.

Meantime, whether in the board room or the frontlines, we salute the women – and the men – of courage working at such risk to make change. Your courage and your efforts inspire us to recommit to our own.

Anthony Borden
IWPR Founder & Executive Director

"Just last week I was incredibly moved to meet a pair of local women activists who, unable to travel any other way, drove 24 hours across the highly insecure badlands of Libya to attend an IWPR training conference in Tunis – amazing tenacity and bravery."

Anthony Borden
Anthony Borden
IWPR Founder & Executive Director
Naqiba Barakzai is honoured on World Press Freedom Day.
Naqiba Barakzai is honoured on World Press Freedom Day. © IWPR
PROJECT HIGHLIGHT

IWPR Trainee Hailed for Groundbreaking Investigation

Story on the taboo of sexual rejection amongst Afghan women wins numerous accolades.

“The citizens of Herat as well as social activists and my colleagues in the media welcomed my report so warmly. The support and encouragement I received from IWPR to pursue this topic was beyond all my expectations.”

Naqiba Barikzai
Naqiba Barikzai
IWPR Afghanistan trainee
BBC NEWS

Mosul: Culture and Concerts Where IS Once Reigned

For almost three years, while her home city of Mosul was under occupation by so-called Islamic State (IS), Tahani Salih kept a daily diary documenting their crimes.
Daniella Peled
IWPR Managing Editor
A Peace Festival was held in Mosul weeks after IS was ousted.
A Peace Festival was held in Mosul weeks after IS was ousted. © IWPR
Gypsy School - A Story of a Young Woman's Determination
PROJECT HIGHLIGHT

Iraq: Village of Hope

How one woman was inspired to make a difference.

Manar Al-Zybaidi was trained by IWPR in August 2016 on campaigning and advocacy as a part of the Baladna Tariqna project.

She came up with an idea for a campaign to improve negative attitudes towards Iraq’s gypsy community.

IWPR hosted a three-day conference in Tunis to mark the launch of Post-Revolution Pioneers report.
IWPR hosted a three-day conference in Tunis to mark the launch of Post-Revolution Pioneers report. © IWPR

Libya: The Post-Revolution Pioneers

IWPR hosted a three-day conference in Tunis to mark the launch of Post-Revolution Pioneers, its report into women's civil society groups in Libya.
IWPR Libya
CYBERWOMEN

Holistic Digital Security Training Curriculum for Women Human Rights Defenders

Cyberwomen is a digital security curriculum with a holistic and gender perspective, geared towards both professional trainers and those who want to learn how to train others on their digital protection and include gender considerations as they do so. It is made up of training modules, interactive games and recommendations for evaluating the training, as well as audio-visual and graphic materials as instructional aids.

Satellite site: cyber-women.com

PROJECT HIGHLIGHT

IWPR Hosts Syrian Women on Landmark US Tour

Syrian female journalists and civil society activists briefed US policymakers and journalists on their wartime experiences during a week-long tour organised by IWPR.

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