Award for Gender-sensitive Journalism
Award for Gender-sensitive Journalism.

Breakthrough India announces RETHINK Media Award for journalists in Jharkhand and Bihar.

Breakthrough India announces RETHINK Media Award for journalists in Jharkhand and Bihar who work on issues like child/early marriage, gender based discrimination, violence against women and other gender-related issues.

Breakthrough is dedicated to improving the quality of life of women and adolescents by making violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable. We are currently implementing development programmes towards empowerment of adolescents in five states (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana and Delhi). Gender-related challenges such as restrictions on mobility, lack of schooling or dropout at primary and secondary level of education, early marriage and violence persist in creating unfair disadvantages for girls within this large group of adolescents in India. ‘Son’ preference and the marginalisation of girls are widespread and reflected in wide gender disparities in education and workforce participation. Even though girls’ school enrolment and gross school enrolment have increased in the last three decades, girls’ enrolment in higher levels of education is still very low. This is because increased female enrolment is compromised by persistently high rates of drop out and poor attendance of girls relative to boys.

Media has been an important part of Breakthrough’s work since its inception. We have been using both mass and digital media to aware large number of people on gender discriminatory practices and how to address them with alternatives, such as Increasing the age of marriage and invest in education of girl child to counter child marriage. Through our media intervention we also have been building conversation on alternative gender sensitive social norms. We have been very closely working with the journalists both at the state and national level to address these discriminatory practices and promote positive stories through their esteemed platforms.

Early marriage intervention in Bihar and Jharkhand:

Breakthrough is working towards eliminating the practice of child marriage in three districts of Bihar and Jharkhand. The main aim of this intervention is to engage and empower adolescents to change individual behaviour, social norms, attitudes to end gender based discrimination and violence against women and girls through school based intervention, media campaign and community mobilization.

Early marriage is a direct result of gender discrimination. Over a period of time we have received strong support from the journalists to build conversation and awareness on this issue of early marriage, which reached many people and we indeed observe a good shift when it comes to mass awareness. However, despite people being aware of the repercussions, the fear of breaking the social norm is far higher than breaking the law amongst them, so it gets difficult to translate the awareness into action against such discriminatory practices.

It’s time when we need discuss beyond data and go deeper into our social norms which is restricting girls and women from accessing their basic human rights like health, education; and limiting their aspirations at a very early age. There is a need to reflect on current norms, popular culture, and all those factors which contribute significantly in de-valuing the women and reinforcing marriage as the only goal of a woman’s life. This entire effort will be incomplete without an effective support from the media to escalate these conversations for further and larger impact towards more tangible social change.

Journalism Award for Gender Issues

Breakthrough is announcing a cash award for media journalists in Jharkhand and Bihar. These awards would be called “Media Award for Gender Sensitive Journalism” (child marriage, gender based discrimination, violence against women and other issues related to gender). The purpose of this award is to promote and increase the debate around the issues and causes of gender based discrimination and violence against women and also to reduce the violence and discrimination against women through pressurizing decision makers for effective policy change.

This award/ fellowship will enable journalists to explore, research and publish stories/articles/photo essays on issues related to the value of the girl child, specifically, child marriage and dowry, in Jharkhand and Bihar, which are violation of the rights of children and women. The awards will support the pursuit of in-depth, field-based, analytical, solution-oriented, creative articles on these issues and initiatives related to them, and writing about them with adequate evidence – qualitative and quantitative – in an effort to influence public policy as well as social discourse /debate, mind-sets, social norms and lead to positive change to address the issues.  The articles can explore various dimensions and perspectives (social, economic, political, legal, demographic, data-research, global to local, rights, humanitarian, gender and others) with a focus on advocacy for sustainable, long-term and feasible solutions for prevention and eradication of child marriage and dowry and other issues.

Evaluation Criteria

Submitted stories/products/news will be evaluated based on their relevance to the main theme of gender based discrimination and violence against women. The awardees will be selected by the evaluation panel constituted for this purpose. The panel will consist of one senior journalist, one BT representative, two other members selected from academics or journalism. The decision of committee will be final. In detail, the evaluation panel will consider the following criteria for selecting the awardees:

Each journalist can submit at max 4 stories

Stories printed before 28th Feb 2019 only will only be considered for this award

Stories need to be based on the themes mentioned below:

  •         Early Marriage
  •         Access to health and education services by girls
  •         Dowry
  •         Domestic Violence
  •         Gender Equality
  •         Sexual Harassment
  •         Livelihoods/skills

Kinds of stories/ category:

  • Data based analytical story
  • Investigative story
  • Positive change story
  • Feature story
  • Online article

The details of the awards are as follows:

A cash award of Rs. 30,000* and Certificate of Appreciation will be given to three best entries in each of the following three categories of published article/news /reports in the mainstream media from November 2018 to February 2019.

  • News Reports – Exclusive/ investigative stories follow-up stories/ Impact Stories
  • Field based report – Story/ initiatives by Govt. / NGOs / Corporate sector / others to address the issues,
  • In depth features or special article- solution focussed articles based on analysis of data.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Working journalists who are a member of registered journalist association or media house in India.
  • Working journalists who are working in Jharkhand and Bihar in Hindi, English or Urdu.
  • Working Journalists would include (editors/ subeditors, reporters and photo-journalists) of mainstream dailies registered and published from Bihar in Hindi, English or Urdu.
  • The applicant should have the consistency in writing on social issues in mainstream media in Jharkhand and Bihar or on digital platform.
  • Applicants are expected to follow the core values of responsible journalism and Ethical Guidelines/principles of reporting on children and women issues.


Selection Criteria

The Jury will be an independent body, solely created for the purpose of evaluating and selecting the best stories/products in the different categories.

Jury’s composition will be the following:

  • Senior journalists
  • Members from representatives of civil society / NGO/ academic institution
  • Representative from Association of journalists in Jharkhand and Bihar
  • Representatives from Government department and Institutions.

Application Process

Those who wish to apply, please fill in the google form: HERE


To know more about the campaign, please write to us at [email protected]

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