The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT), in cooperation with Journalism & Media International Center (JMIC) at OsloMet, has launched an updated Arabic-language edition of the Safety handbook for Women Journalists, that was produced with the support of UNESCO, entitled “What if”.
Since November 2017, when the English edition of the handbook was launched, it became one of the most important occupational safety guides for female journalists worldwide. It has been used as a reference in training courses organized by by Abeer Saady for JMIC in several countries. UNESCO and UN Women and other international organizations promoted it in their events and documents. Two academic researchers in Australia and Norway have evaluated it.
With the increase in the number of attacks on women journalists, and with the continued and increasing exposure to risks, especially in some countries of the Middle East, the Arabic edition is timely. It includes practical experiences for women journalists and correspondents around the world, especially in areas of conflict and armed struggle.
The Arabic edition of the handbook charts a path to safety for women journalists. Through eleven titles – on risk assessment, profile management, gendered based violence and harassment, travel safety, digital safety, equipment safety, crowd management, kidnapping, detention and psychological safety, social and ethical safety decisions, dealing with survivors and coverage of epidemics like the coronavirus – the handbook urges women journalists to reduce risks and protect themselves from all forms of threats.
The handbook is written by Abeer Saady, Vice President of IAWRT; a journalist and professional safety expert – who has trained hundreds of women journalists in conflict areas across the world. The English Edition is edited by Nonee Walsh and the Arabic one by Emad Nasif.
JMIC strongly welcomes this new version and hopes that this guide will be an important step towards more safety for Arabic-speaking female journalists, as the English edition has been. We hope for future editions in other languages.