IWMF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Women Journalists 2020

IWMF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Women Journalists 2020 : The Emergency Fund is sustained with the support of individual donors to address the growing need to provide direct assistance to women journalists who are suffering.

We established the IWMF Emergency Fund in 2013 to provide women journalists with a lifeline of support in times of crisis. Now more than ever, journalists around the world face real dangers as a result of their reporting.

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IWMF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for Women Journalists 2020.

The IWMF’s Journalism Relief Fund is open to women-identifying journalists in dire straits – journalists who have faced significant financial hardship, lost work, were recently laid off or who urgently need assistance to avoid severe, irreversible outcomes.

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COVID-19 Relief Fund

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the IWMF is turning our attention to how we may best serve our community of women journalists at this unprecedented moment in history. Based on early, anecdotal evidence of cancelled assignments, lost income and an inability to pay essential living expenses, we anticipate a great need for support within our global network of journalists – especially among freelancers with no safety net.

This fund will provide small grants of up to $2,000 USD per request though special consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to those have greater financial need.

The IWMF Emergency Fund provides women journalists with:
  • Small grants for psychological and medical care for incidents directly related to threats and crises caused by one’s work as a journalist;
  • Three months of temporary relocation assistance in the event of crisis or threat;
  • Legal aid to counter threats of imprisonment or censorship;
  • Non-financial assistance in the form of information about additional access to resources.

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To be eligible for the IWMF Emergency Fund, candidates must meet the following criteria:
  • Be a staff or freelance woman reporter, working in any medium, whose primary profession is journalism;
  • Have worked full-time as a journalist within six months of applying for assistance;
  • Apply for assistance with a crisis situation directly connected to work as a journalist.

To request assistance from the IWMF Emergency Fund, please complete this preliminary questionnaire (en español). An IWMF staff member will respond to your request in a timely manner at which point you may be required to provide additional information. Please understand that it will take time to process your request.

The International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP)

The IWMF and the ISLP are pleased to provide pro-bono legal advice to women journalists in our programs. The service is open to staff reporters and freelance journalists, who will particularly benefit as they often struggle to understand and negotiate financial and intellectual property rights terms.

A guide summarizing customary terms is available here and may answer initial questions.

To access the service, IWMF-supported journalists must complete this intake form to outline their needs. ISLP will screen requests for cases it considers it can effectively handle and will identify volunteer legal counsel from its extensive and international network of experienced lawyers. The primary focus of this support will be contracts and the journalist’s legal relationships with their employers and publishers.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must identify as a woman journalist;
  • Must have participated in past IWMF program(s);
  • Journalism must be a full-time profession.

The Journalists in Distress (JID) Network

The International Women’s Media Foundation is a member of the JID Network, a group of 18 international organizations that provide direct assistance to journalists and media workers whose lives or careers are threatened because of their work. Each organization has its own mandate and criteria for emergency assistance; the Network does not engage in joint advocacy.

The JID Network was established in 2006 to allow member organizations with freedom of expression mandates to more easily share information, coordinate joint efforts and avoid duplication.


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