Image: Ukrainian women cross the border into Moldova, 3 March 2022. Photo: UN Women
2023-02-14. A year ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, destroying lives and livelihoods. A partnership between the Ukrainian Independent Regional Publishers’ Association (AIRPPU) and WAN-IFRA’s Women in News programme awarded reporting grants to ensure the stories of women in Ukraine and their everyday struggles – and triumphs – continued to be told.
by WAN-IFRA External Contributor firstname.lastname@example.org | February 15, 2023
In February 2022, life for millions of Ukrainians took a dark turn. Russian tanks rolled in, shattering the peace and unleashing new horrors. Many Ukrainian journalists were silenced – both literally and figuratively.
They needed indestructible reserves to tell the stories that needed to be told. Yet, the media industry was working under near-impossible conditions. Access to basic resources like electricity, mobile phones and notebooks was severely curtailed. Reporters also had targets on their backs.
As a result, important voices and perspectives went missing from news coverage. And as often happens in times of crisis, women’s testimonies were especially absent.
In response, WAN-IFRA Women in News, a programme that works to amplify women’s voices and leadership in the news – partnered with member Association of Independent Regional Press Publishers of Ukraine (AIRPPU) to administer short-term reporting assignments to women and non-binary journalists throughout the country.
The resulting stories centred women’s perspectives on the war – and provided short-term support to those immediately impacted by the Russian invasion.
The grant programme fell under the auspices of WAN-IFRA WIN’s Social Impact Reporting Initiative (SIRI) which has run in multiple countries throughout Africa and the Arab Region through support from primary benefactor SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).
More than 200 journalists applied to produce stories that shine a light on under-told issues, or those that have been neglected by mainstream media. Many of them focused specifically on the stories and experiences of Ukrainian women. Twenty candidates were successful.
The partnership led to the production of 80 pieces of content on 228 platforms across two months. This translates to an estimated audience of 148,400 print users and 55.9 million total monthly unique online users. Some journalists had to use pseudonyms due to security concerns.
The stories produced under the SIRI Ukraine reporting grant were published here. In mid-2023, they will be translated and reproduced in the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, a bastion of independent journalism.
Here are a selection of some of the stories.