Webinar Series for Enhancing the Protection of Women Journalists and Women’s Human Rights in the Context of Shrinking Democratic Space in Asia

Are you a journalist, blogger, or a media worker integrating gender and/or covering women’s rights issues in Asia? Are you interested in reporting on gender equality issues with a focus on access to justice, ending violence against women and women, peace, and security issues? Are you interested in learning from leading professionals in this area and exchanging with like-minded professionals?

UN Women and OHCHR is organizing a series of online spaces for exchanging experiences and building capacity through a series of webinars for enhancing the protection of women journalists and women’s human rights in the context of shrinking democratic space in Asia. The aim is to enhance their capacity to investigate and report on gender related issues and to identify issues concerning the narrowing of democratic space and its impact on women journalists and enhance self-protection assessments, including in the area of cybersecurity.

About the programme

Women journalists and media workers play an important role to increase the coverage of rights related stories across Asia, and to help ensure that rights related content is reported on. Stories can challenge gender norms and question discriminatory practices that have become a norm in societies.  Female investigative journalists and media workers have faced judicial harassment online, including lawsuits, criminal charges, and administrative proceedings in recent years in Asia, and often bear the brunt of government crackdowns on freedom of expression and other fundamental freedoms. UN Women Asia Pacific and OHCHR Regional Office for South-East Asia (SEARO) will support networks of journalists through a joint programme of support. An online course will be co-organized jointly between OHCHR SEARO and UN Women Asia Pacific for journalists and media workers (including bloggers, youtubers, etc.) in Asia. Efforts will be made to engage with youth networks as well as more established journalists, thereby expanding the reach and integrating new interlocutors.

Participants will follow online webinars, which will be organized as interactive modules and will be required to complete all units over the course of 7 to 12 months, including the submission of assignments (written, audiovisual, etc). It will be necessary to achieve a stipulated overall grade to receive a certificate. Certificates will be issued by OHCHR and UN Women. At the end of the programme, the graduates will be sponsored to visit a prominent media outlet and context allowing, in person meeting and field visits.

Key Facts

  • Seven to twelve-month scheme of 7-12 sessions including intensive training and reporting assignments
  • Conducted in the form of webinars and online safe spaces, so you can connect from anywhere in Asia
  • 90-minute webinar twice a month, starting in September 2020 for approximately 7-12 months
  • Participants will be selected from countries in Asia with 25% of the participants representing youth networks (18-24 years of age)
  • Application deadline is extended until 14 September 2020

What we are looking for?

Criteria for selection:

  • Journalists, bloggers and media workers in Asia
  • Previous experience in covering issues of gender equality and human rights
  • Commitment to contributing to discussions in a safe environment in the spirit of sharing and learning with others from the region.
  • Fluency in English (oral and written)
  • Up to 3 years of professional journalism or media worker experience (preferably, on the related topics)
  • Proven ability to generate impactful human-interest stories
  • Availability to spend two sessions per month over the next 7-12 months in online sessions, as follows:
    • Session 1-2 – October 2020
    • Session 3-4 – November 2020
    • Session 5-6 – December 2020
    • Session 7-8 – January 2021
    • Session 9-10 – February 2021
    • Session 11-12 – March 2021

How do you apply?

Participants must complete the online application and submit all supporting documents by the extended deadline of 14 September 2020.  The required documents are:

  • CV providing evidence of track record as a journalist or media worker at the national or regional level in Asia
  • Letter indicating the motivation of no more than 500 words
  • One or two published articles in traditional media or online blog or link to online post or radio transmission or podcasts etc (in local languages or English)
  • Two references (One reference from supervisor or chief editor to ensure commitment of the outlet to publish gender responsive stories and one personal reference that can vouch for the quality of work/experience)

Deadline: 14 September 2020