Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law, and Development (APWLD) has selected five journalists for our 2019 Feminist Development Justice Media Fellowship Programme. Our fellowship theme this year is on Feminist Development Justice as we wish to strengthen a feminist analysis on development issues in mainstream and alternative media spaces and galvanise public education and support.

Feminist Development Justice is a transformative development architecture that aims to reduce inequalities of wealth, power, and resources between countries, between rich and poor, and between men and women. With this fellowship, we want to challenge the generally accepted market-driven development architecture in both mainstream and alternative media, setting the stage for Feminist Development Justice as an alternative.

The media fellows will attend a media workshop and the Asia Pacific Peoples’ Forum on Sustainable Development (APPFSD) and will have opportunities to meet women human rights defenders and Feminist Development Justice advocates from Asia Pacific. Based on interactions with grassroots activists and experts, the fellows, in consultation with APWLD, will develop a plan on how to produce critical analysis on women, right to development and feminist development justice. They will produce news articles, features, audio-video content and digital stories with a feminist lens that highlight the linkages between gender, economic and development issues and its impact on women’s human rights.

The following journalists have been selected to participate in our programme:

Gonila Hassnain, Pakistan

Gonila Hassnain is a newspaper journalist based in Lahore, Pakistan, with over 12 years of experience. She is a Social Reporter for the Urdu newspaper Daily Dunya, where she covers the structural causes of gender inequality in Pakistan and the lack of legal protection on home-based workers, the majority of which is made up of women.

Lam Le Giang, Vietnam

Le Giang Lam is a freelance journalist from Hanoi, Vietnam, whose byline can often be found on New Naratif and VNExpress International. She has covered stories on the fledgling #MeToo movement in Vietnam and on the lack of women representation in the government of Vietnam’s key positions and decision-making roles.

Louiseanne Gohul Laris, Papua New Guinea

Louiseanne Gohul Laris is a TV journalist for the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. She has covered stories of violence against women in an armed conflict, which often happens when women are resisting a destructive development project like mining. Louiseanne also wrote a story on the central role that women play in supporting their families but despite this, they have little economic security because of patriarchal attitudes that deprive them of their rights.

Mandkhai Jambaldorj, Mongolia

Mandkhai Jambaldorj is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Her work has been published in several media outlets, including Ikon News and She has covered various gender stories ranging from survivors of sexual violence to the prevalence of postpartum disorder on Mongolian women that is often times overlooked.

Methmalie Dissanayake, Sri Lanka

Methmalie Dissanayake is a newspaper journalist for the Ceylon Today Newspaper in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is designated as a Parliament Reporter and covers stories of the Sri Lankan government’s programmes and policies on education, mental health and sexual and reproductive health and rights among others. She wrote a story on the government’s plan to introduce a law on the termination of pregnancy in the instances of rape, incest and underage pregnancies and the impediment to passing such law.