Two Young Women Journalists Receive Awards for Local Reporting on Gender Issues

The journalists, who were trained by Internews in Tanzania, reported on early marriage and gender-based violence in local communities in Zanzibar

Two young women journalists have won first and second places in the Gender category of the inaugural Zanzibar Journalism Excellence Awards hosted around World Press Freedom Day.

Huwaida Nassor and Rehema Juma of Hits FM each submitted a radio program. Huwaida focused on how early marriage infringes the rights of teenagers, while Rehema revealed how victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) face legal challenges when they seek justice.

Both reporters won a trophy, a certificate, and a cash prize of 1,000,000 Tanzanian shillings (US$430).

“I specialise in gender reporting and I’m very happy that my hard work has been recognised,” said Huwaida. “Internews mentorship and training really helped.”

Rehema says Internews’ support allowed her to focus on the local community:

“Sometimes you have a good idea, but your station cannot afford to produce the program. Internews helps us to tell untold stories about the needs of local people.”

Chief judge of the World Press Freedom Day commemoration committee, Aiman Duwe says both reporters applied their creative skills to produce human-interest stories that combined moving personal testimonies and factual case studies.

“Their work will help to change the local narrative about early marriage and pregnancy, and about victims of SGBV. These issues pose some of the most serious problems in our community.”

Internews provides Hits FM with production stipends, journalism training, mentorships, and equipment.

The Internews Boresha Habari project is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented in partnership with FHI 360. It supports an open environment in which the media promote participation, inclusion, and accountability in Tanzania.

By Ali Mwadini, Internews Media Trainer in Zanzibar.