Wan-Ifra Women in News has named Etaf Roudan, director of Radio al-Balad in Jordan, as its 2020 Women in News (WIN) Editorial Leadership Award laureate for the Arab Region. The WIN Editorial Leadership Award is given annually to outstanding editors, one from the Arab Region and one from sub-Saharan Africa, in recognition of excellence in leadership and an unwavering commitment to equality and press freedom.
Radio journalist and editor Roudan is the first Jordanian woman to head a community radio station. She is the editor-in-chief of a community newspaper. For much of her 15-year career, Roudan has focused her journalism on women’s issues and empowerment. She has been an advocate for press freedom in her writing and through many of her projects. She has built a reputation for pursuing topics that celebrate women and equality, and for breaking down social and political barriers through her reporting.
Roudan was nominated for her dedication to press freedom, the empowerment of young women journalists, and as a champion of equality.
Contributions of Etif Roudan to women empowerment
Between 2012 and 2016, Roudan headed a program to empower women from Al Zarqa’ region in Jordan using media and journalism training as a way of involving them in decision-making processes. Through this program, she contributed to the training of nearly 75 women.
Roudan was also one of the founding members of a project titled “Your Voice…Your Identity”, focusing on providing media and journalism training to women in Jordan, helping them gain more confidence in their skills, as well as encouraging them to cover a wider range of topics and interests. The project highlighted the important issues facing Jordanian women, especially in marginalized communities.
Roudan, who participated in the Women in News program in its first year in the Arab Region in 2016, currently anchors a radio program on Radio al-Balad, which she uses to focus on the intersection between society, women, and politics.
Under her leadership, CNN’s morning show “Voice of the pandemic” awarded Radio al-Balad for their excellent media response on Covid-19, specifically for the show “Together to overcome Corona.”
In her acceptance letter to Women in News, Roudan said the award motivated women in the Arab Region who work in the media and who face multiple challenges, reminding them that the effort they put into this profession is not lost.“This award motivates everyone, especially the new generation, to work with passion and honesty to harvest similar outcomes. This award is particularly important for me, and for my daughters, because I always push them to work to become strong women in the future,” she said.
“It is an honor to name Etaf Roudan this year’s laureate for the Arab Region,” said chief executive officer of Wan-Ifra, Vincent Peyrègne.“Etaf has played an important role in shaping the media landscape in Jordan. Her leadership and championing of other women have changed the face of journalism. Her work has enabled greater participation from women ensuring their stories are heard in shaping public debate.”
Acil Tabbara, WIN Editorial Leadership Award laureate for 2019 in the Arab Region, said, “This award is an important recognition of the work of women journalists in the Arab world. Women have increased both their presence and visibility in the Arab media over the years, but their accomplishments are not always recognized or rewarded, and their way to the top echelons of news organizations still remains more difficult than male peers.”
WIN Editorial Leadership Award
Women in News (WIN) aims to increase women’s leadership and voices in the news. It does so by equipping women journalists and editors with the skills, strategies, and support networks to take on greater leadership positions within their media. In parallel, WIN partners with media organizations to identify industry-led solutions to close the gender gap in their newsrooms, boardrooms, and in the content they produce. WIN is currently working with more than 80 media from 15 countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. WIN is made possible through support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Each year, the Women in News Editorial Leadership Award is awarded to one outstanding woman editor in the sub-Saharan Africa Region and in the Arab Region annually. The award recognizes an exemplary contribution of an editor to her newsroom, and under her leadership, the contribution of the media industry. Candidates are selected by a committee comprised of members of the WIN steering committee and previous laureates. This year’s laureate for sub-Saharan Africa is Mary Mbewe, who was announced on September 8, 2020.
Past Laureates from the Arab region are Karima Kamal from Egypt (2017), Noura al-Hourani from Syria (2018), and Acil Tabbara from Lebanon (2019).