Could you please present yourself and introduce how you become committed to promoting media freedom?
I am Rose KAHAMBU TUOMBEANE, one of the founding members of the Collectif des Femmes Journalistes (Collective of Women Journalists -CFJ).With two other colleagues, we had the idea of creating this Collective following the questionings and threats that the (already scarce) women journalists of the Beni-Butembo area were (facing). With CFJ, we began to denounce the aggressions against women journalists and to provide support to those being questioned by the authorities and other services because of their work. Since then, I have been committed to defending the human rights of women in general, and in particular women journalists and women human rights defenders who are victims of aggression. Thanks to the monitoring ofthe aggressions against the journalists and other defenders in general, and in particular against women journalists and human rights defenders, we remain a center of reference for the defense of women journalists and human rights defenders threatened or attacked for their work in the territory of Beni, Lubero, as well as in the cities of Butembo and Beni.
What is the mission of the Organization you are working for?
The mission of the Collective is to contribute to the promotion of women’s rights, peace, freedom of the press, the defense and protection of journalists as well as the promotion of a professional and gender-sensitive press.
What are you doing with the grant awarded by the Global Media Defence Fund?
We will work to establish a legal cell for the defense of women journalists who have been attacked , as well as establish a network of journalists to fight impunity around cases of attacks against women journalists. This network will produce journalistic articles on the [authorities’] management of cases related to attacks on women journalists and denounce impunity around the issue through advocacy at all levels. In order to make its advocacy actions credible, the network will also monitor cases of aggression against women journalists.
What will be the impact of this action?
This project will support at least 20 cases of women journalists assaulted in the Beni-Lubero region of North Kivu, and operationalize a Network of Investigative Journalists against Impunity for Assaults on Women Journalists will conduct advocacy and denunciations to bring the justice system as well as authorities at all levels to change their way of reacting and handling cases of attacks against women journalists.
Any suggestions/recommendations you would like to make to UNESCO as administrator of this Fund and/or to its donors?
We suggest that UNESCO, as administrator of these funds, helps the beneficiaries and the partner organizations involved to widen their audience for advocacy actions against impunity for attacks on women journalists and men journalists by setting up a framework for the exchange and sharing of experiences among the partners that are working around this issue.