Reporting grants to amplify women’s voices in news media

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Women’s media foundation funds 13 female journalists in news media for coverage of gendered topics

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has awarded 13 female journalists with catalytic grants to report on critical issues affecting women and girls worldwide. As the inaugural grantees for the Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories (RGWS) initiative, funded by The Secular Society, these grants are intended to advance the contributions of women in the global news media and ensure the varied coverage of gendered topics so essential to a free and representative press.

Out of a talented pool of more than 200 applicants, representing media projects in over 85 countries, the 13 grantees are receiving a total of $46,700 to facilitate the production of their projects. Over the next three years, the initiative will award a total of at least $300,000 to female journalists who can help advance gender equity in the media with the support of independent reporting grants.

The 2016 Round 1 winners of the IWMF Reporting Grants for Women’s Stories Initiative are as follows:

Kristen Chick is a freelance journalist based in Germany focused on issues surrounding the Middle East and refugees. Her reporting grant will enable her to explore issues female refugees in Lebanon face as they resettle into this new country.

Mansi Choksi is an independent journalist based in New York and writing about the intersection of gender, politics, crime, opportunity and pop-culture, and Kim Wall is an independent journalist who splits her time between Beijing and New York, writing about popular culture, identity and foreign policy. Their collaborative Reporting Grant will enable them to explore women’s roles in post-conflict Sri Lanka.

Karen Dias is a photojournalist based in her hometown of Mumbai, India, focused on human rights issues related to women and the environment. Dias will receive a reporting grant to research and report on inspiring sports women in Haryana, a state with some of the worst socioeconomic factors in India.

Christabel Ligami is a Kenyan freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya who writes on science, health, development, and climate change in East Africa and other parts of the continent. Her reporting grant will enable her to investigate how solar technology and land rights impact the lives of Masaai women in Kenya.

Locadia Mavhudzi is a Zimbabwean journalist covering health, gender, culture, business, and the environment. She will receive a Reporting Grant to investigative the effectiveness of drought alleviation efforts on the livelihoods of Zimbabwean women and children.

Amanda Mustard is an American freelance photojournalist based in Bangkok, Thailand. Her reporting grant will support her ongoing documentary work investigating the cycle of child sexual abuse.

Precious Naturinda is a Ugandan journalist focused on environmental issues. Her grant will enable her to explore the impact of oil extraction on women and their land in the country’s Hoima district.

Jennifer Rigby is a British freelance journalist based in Yangon who is focused on Myanmar’s transition to democracy, as well as other stories across Asia. Rigby will receive a Reporting Grant to support a book project on women breaking cultural stereotypes in the country.

Noemie Serfaty is a French independent documentarist whose reporting grant will support her ongoing documentary project exploring female leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement in Oakland, California.

Ricci Shryock is a freelance photographer and video journalist based in Dakar, Senegal. With the support of her Reporting Grant, she will partner with writer Allyn Gaestel to explore the country’s laws surrounding abortion, as well as its prison system.

Photojournalist Nicole Tung is an American born and raised in Hong Kong, whose work often explores those most affected by conflict. Her Reporting Grant will enable her to explore the issues of domestic violence and women’s rights in Turkey

“We are enormously thrilled to partner with The Secular Society through the reporting grants for Women’s Stories Initiative, as it not only amplifies the voices of female journalists, but the untold stories that impact the lives of women and girls around the world,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, IWMF’s Executive Director.

The Secular Society is founded on the principle that all governmental activities and those of religious organisations be absolutely separate. It supports projects domestically and internationally that advance the interests of women, as well as the arts. The Secular Society’s support for gender equity through independent reporting grants highlights the need to provide women journalists with more robust funding opportunities to pursue journalism in the public interest.

Founded in 1990 by a group of prominent U.S. women journalists, the IWMF is dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists worldwide. The IWMF believes the news media worldwide are not truly free and representative without the equal voice of women and celebrates the courage of women journalists who overcome threats and oppression to speak out on global issues. The IWMF’s programs empower women journalists with the training, support and network to become leaders in the news industry.

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