According to UNESCO, there is not a single country where news about women constitutes over 20% of contents Journalism is male dominated, and women are made invisible. "Common" news from the South also have low impact in media. As "the other sex from the third world" women are affected in the South of double invisibility, and the need for women to highlight their presence in media is critical. The network works to improve women's situations, not only through information campaigns about rights, but also by promoting particular attitudes and opinions.
IAWRT’s members represent 56 countries from all continents, with local branches in six countries. The organization works specifically with international networking, communication, training and awareness, with particular focus on strengthening the influence of women in the South regarding local and international media. Their strategy is to strengthen women's involvement in local media through targeted learning, education, cooperation and capacity building. IAWRT serves as a bridge between North and South to facilitate international exchange of experiences and knowledge. This gives women in electronic media resources to promote local initiatives that promote gender perspectives.
FOKUS supports two of IAWRT’s projects. These projects are “Half Widows in India” and Anti-trafficking in India and Nepal. With the support of FOKUS, it has been possible for IAWRT to expand its media network in several countries in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The organization holds workshops on media-related topics, as well as a large international conference for its members every two years. In 2001, 16 radio and TV women from developing countries had travel grants to attend a conference in Berlin on gender perspective on the media's role in war, conflict and peace building. Travel support led to expanded representation from Uruguay, Argentina, Moldova and Palestine.
In 2002, a member fund was established to support training of female journalists. This was formed as a result of strong initiatives from the organization's members. The need is highlighted by growing pressure from commercial interests on one hand, and political surveillance on the other. In addition, the complex media situation with new technology and new structures, often are disadvantageous for women. Through increased professional standing and concrete support from IAWRT's international network, scholarship recipients are better equipped to deal with pressure and preserve their journalistic integrity.
IAWRT is committed to practical results. That is, they focus on making documentaries, radio and television program in ways that promote women's rights and development. The network is experiencing a revitalization of the organization via several local initiatives, growth in memberships over the world and a more visible presence of women and women's issues in the international media debate.
IAWRT is supported by FOKUS mainly with funding from Norad.