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UN Women Gender Journalism Awards Competition 2021 for East and Southern African countries

The 2021 UN Women Gender Journalism Awards Competition

Application Deadline:

15th October 2021

About the UN Women Gender Journalism Awards:

UN Women has partnered with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), the African Women Leaders’ Network (Tanzania and Malawi Chapters); the Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA); The Association of Women in Media (Malawi); and the MISA Chapters in Tanzania and Malawi, to promote and recognize excellence in the media reporting of the work by Feminist Movements in East and Southern African countries. The initiative brings together various actors, including the media, feminist movements and leadership, policy makers, development partners and donors for gender equality, young gender activists, male champions, the civil society and other influencers of gender equality and women’s empowerment – to pay a much closer attention to progress, best practices, opportunities, strengths, and gaps in efforts towards realizing the rights of women in the region.

The Awards were inspired by a UN Women Global Campaign: “Generation Equality: Realizing the Rights of Women for an Equal Future” launched in 2019. The campaign is bringing the next generations of women’s rights activists with the gender equality advocates and visionaries who were instrumental in creating the BPfA in 1995, for galvanized actions towards Gender Equality. Through this campaign, six Action Coalitions were established to drive increased commitment in addressing gender gaps in the following areas: Feminist Movements and Leadership; Gender based violence; Economic Justice and Rights; Feminist Action for Climate Justice; Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality; and Bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Based on human rights principles, and through a data-driven process of consultation with international feminist groups, grassroots activist organizations, governments and other partners, the coalitions seek to catalyze collective action; spark global and local conversations among generations; drive increased public and private investment; and deliver concrete, game-changing results for girls and women.

Globally, more than 90 partners from governments, civil society, private sector, youth-led organisations, international organizations and the United Nations have joined the Action Coalition Leadership structures, and are expected to make five-year commitments at the Generation Equality Forum to be held in Paris, France from 30 June to 2 July, 2021. The Paris Forum is a global innovative, multi-stakeholder partnership aimed at mobilizing governments, civil society organizations, international organizations and the private sector to bring about game-changing results for girls and women. In the same spirit, the Gender Journalism Awards Competition aims to promote partnerships between the media and actors in the regional women’s rights sector, with a key focus on supporting and motivating young Journalists to develop interest in specializing in gender reporting. The Awards will promote an in-depth and impactful coverage of various gender-related issues that reflect the broader work that Feminist Movements in the region take-on. Reporting on these issues will contribute to ongoing efforts to enhance and sustain longer-term partnerships with the media in advancing the rights of women and girls.

Eligible Field(s):

Journalists applying for the UN Women Gender Journalism Awards are expected to frame their stories along the following five categories:

  1. The Women’s Rights Activism and Leadership
  2. Protection of Civic Space for Feminist Action and Movement Building
  3. Intergenerational Partnerships for Consensus Building and Succession 
  4. Feminist Movements and Financing for a Gender Equal Future
  5. Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality

Type of Award:



  1. The UN Women Gender Journalism Awards is open to all professional journalists and freelance journalists, who are at least 18 years of age.
  2. Journalists must be working in East and Southern Africa for media organizations that are based in the region (East and Southern Africa) that print publications and electronic news for dissemination in the region as the primary target audience.
  3. Journalists are not required to pay any fee to enter the competition.
  4. Entries should have been published between 20 May and 15 October, 2021,which is the deadline for entry.
  5. Late and lost entries, illegible or fraudulent entries or acts or any other entries or acts which bring or would be likely to bring the reputation of the organizers into disrepute shall render the entrant ineligible to participate in the competition and will be disqualified.
  6. Journalists must enter ONLY one best story in each of the five categories . Follow-up stories directly linked to the initial story will be counted as a single story.

Selection Criteria:

A Panel of Judges will be looking for:

  1. Stories that demonstrate knowledge of the subject area, understanding the scope of the category
  2. A gender-lens approach to reporting (gender-responsive)
  3. Great Journalism ability, creativity, innovation and integrity
  4. Writes with clarity, simplicity for ease of communication, and demonstrates analytical skills, depth, and an impressive investment in research
  5. Background knowledge of the Generation Equality and ongoing events locally, regionally and globally
  6. Understanding of how the Feminist Movements and Leadership Action Coalition connects with the other 5 Action Coalitions
  7. Demonstrates Tenacity, Courage and ability to develop follow-up stories for more insight on the subject area.

Eligible Countries:

East & Southern African countries

Number of Awards:


Value of UN Women Gender Journalism Awards:

There are 15 prizes up for grabs. A Total of three prizes will be awarded in each category. Winning Entries will be announced at a ceremony in November 2021.

How to Apply for the UN Women Gender Journalism Awards:

Fill-in the form and share links to your entries/ stories here

Alternatively, download the Entry Form and send to : [email protected]

  • It is important to go through all application requirements in the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.

Visit UN Women Gender Journalism Awards Webpage for Details

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