WNN Staff

WNN – Women News Network staff and freelance journalists

Lys Anzia – WNN – Women News Network Founder

Human rights journalist and WNN – Women News Network Founder Lys Anzia was the first woman on the programming board for the early beginnings of Public Television Channel12 KBDI in Denver, Colorado (U.S.) at its conception in 1979. Anzia is also an award-winning historical playwright; a Pushcart Prize nominee in poetry; and a United Nations expert panelist on media. She has also brought on-the-ground reports to the UN during the annual UNCSW – UN Commission on the Status of Women conference that brings women from over 170 countries to New York City each year. Working to bring a tight focus on the needs of global women, Lys’s early career began in public radio via a radio production internship with Pacifica affiliate radio station WPFW-FM in Washington, D.C. Later taking part in a fellowship that included leaders at the Pulitzer Center, as well as others in the media in Washington D.C., Anzia also more recently received formal recognition from the U.S. California State Legislature for her, “…dedication and commitment to independent global journalism…” in 2013. Today Anzia’s dedication continues as she works to bring global women’s voices from the ground to the public.

Recognized by UNESCO for ‘Professional Journalistic Standards and Code of Ethics” WNN began as a solo project. Today it brings news stories on women from 5+ global regions to the attention of international ‘change-makers’ including over 600 NGO affiliates and United Nations agencies.



WNN staff member Mary MacDonald
Mary MacDonald – Assignments Editor – Senior Content Manager / Global

As a talented WNN Assignments Editor and Senior Content Manager Canadian Mary MacDonald believes strongly that all “human rights are women’s rights.” She has also worked closely in the past to assist troubled youth through partnerships with Red Cross Canada, as well as the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Dedicated to eradicating the world of bullying, cyber-bullying, domestic violence and teen suicide, MacDonald has helped numerous teens work through life challenges using specially designed prevention programs and anger management coaching for youth.



Jessica Buchleitner face image 2015-SMALL
Jessica Buchleitner – Investigative journalist – International specialist / Global

WNN investigative journalist Jessica Buchleitner is based in the San Francisco Bay Area of the United States. As a journalist focused on the needs, voices and empowerment of global women, Jessica has been a member of the WNN staff for five years and also serves on the Board of Directors for Women’s Intercultural Network, a United Nations ECOSOC consultative non-governmental organization. She has served as an NGO delegate to the annual sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women for the last five years representing various NGO initiatives around the world.

As author of the 50 Women Anthology Series–a two book first-hand series of personal stories that outline the strength and perseverance of global women-told by 50 different women from 30 countries, Jessica has highlighted the unique experiences of women who have navigated and overcome obstacles including political, cultural and societal issues, armed conflict, gender based violence, immigration, health afflictions and business ventures. To know more about Jessica you can visit her twitter @50womenproject or see www.50womenproject.org.


Elahe Amani – humanitarian journalist – gender specialist – peace activist / Southern Asia – Iran – Northern America – U.S.

Peace activist and WNN special reporter on Iran, U.S. based Elahe Amani has kept a strong pulse on human rights for all women since her early days of activism in Iran in the early 1970s. Today she works with immigrant women who are part of South Asian, Iranian and the Middle Eastern ethnic communities in Southern California to help them build peace at home and in society. In 1995 Elahe was an active organizer and delegate at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. At present she is the co-chair of Global-Circles for San Francisco based Women Intercultural Network (WIN), a global women’s organization with consultative status at the United Nations. Working with grassroot circles in Uganda, Japan and Afghanistan, as well as a leadership role in the dynamic CEDAW for Cities campaign, Elahe has also lectured through the Women’s Studies Department and is also on the advisory board of The Women Center at CSU – California State University in Long Beach, California.


Cynthia Arvide - WNN correspondent in Mexico
Cynthia Arvide – investigative reporter – human rights journalist / Mexico – Latin America

WNN correspondent in Mexico City Cynthia Arvide is a freelance journalist who specializes in women issues, her stories have been published in Marie Claire magazine, the Latin American edition. She also writes human interest stories, travel features and investigative reports about diverse cultural and social issues in Mexico and every country has the opportunity to visit.


Svetlana Bachevanova – photographer – photojournalist / Bulgaria – Eastern Europe – Northern America – U.S.

Bulgarian photojournalist for WNN and National Geographic (Bulgaria) award winning photographer Svetlana Bachevanova has exhibited her work in Europe and the United States in galleries and museums and has been published by numerous major newspapers, agencies and magazines including the l’Humanitie, Soar, Biography, Reuters, National Geographic and Associated Press.


WNN journalist in Zambia - Lillian Banda
Lillian Banda – womens rights – legal investigative reporter / Zambia – Sub-Saharan Africa

WNN correspondent in Zambia Lillian Banda has worked for Sun Publishers, Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) and the International Justice Mission (IJM). She has also been a volunteer for Amnesty International Zambia and has volunteered as a Paralegal officer for Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA). As a journalist she has worked through the Media Network on Environment and Agriculture Development (MEAD), Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA) and Media Network on Child’s Rights and Development (MNCD).


WNN freelance journalist Aliya Bashir
Aliya Bashir – civil rights in society journalist / Indian Administered Kashmir – South Asia – Middle East

Aliya Bashir covers human rights, women’s rights, youth and education and other civil society for WNN from Kashmir, where her work has been carried by The Guardian News. She has worked  with Hindustan Times – one of the leading English dailies of India, Kashmir Monitor, Rising Kashmir, Mirror and reflections magazine, including other publications. Bashir has also been a Voice of the Future (VOF) correspondent 2012 for World Pulse, a U.S. action based media network powered by women from 185 different countries.


Sally Chiwama – gender development journalist / Eastern Africa – Zambia

Sally Chiwama is a board member of FEMNET, the woman in development NGO that is working to empower and educate women throughout the Africa region. Using her professional training in journalism as ammunition to inform society on the importance of information, Sally is also part of the Zambia Media Women Association (ZAMWA) Secretariat, She has represented ZAMWA in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa. Sally is also a distinguished recipient of the 2008 EHHR Media Awards – Every Human Has Rights Media Awards, sponsored in-part by humanitarian luminaries THE ELDERS.


WNN freelance journalist for Europe - Sabine Clappaert
Sabine Clappaert – human rights & diversity journalist / Europe – Belgium – Global

As a freelance journalist with a background in diversity and communication Sabine Clappaert focuses on global women’s issues. Sabine is a long-standing advocate of gender equality and is driven by a strong personal belief in women’s responsibility toward each other. Her writing aims to contribute to cross-cultural and cross-gender understanding in the belief that understanding inspires tolerance and respect beyond the borders of religion, race, culture and gender. In addition to WNN currently Clappaert also contributes to national Belgian dailies such as De Morgen and Flanders Today (Belgium), magazines including Pink Ribbon magazine, The Word magazine (Belgium-UK), The Bulletin, IPS News (UK and Destiny magazine (SA). To see more of Sabine’s work go to www.sabineclappaert.com


WNN journalist/correspondent from Pakistan Sana Jamal
Sana Jamal – correspondent on human rights and women / Pakistan – South Asia region

With an expertise and interest in human rights as it relates to the plight and empowerment of global women Sana Jamal is a working journalist, freelance writer and a blogger from Islamabad, Pakistan. Her experience spans the use of social media and standard journalism for reporting, feature writing and researching. Jamal also covers the ‘Arts and Culture’ in Pakistan. Currently in addition to her work for WNN, she is working as a staff reporter at Pakistan news daily, Pakistan Observer, in Islamabad.


Bahar WNN Photo2
Bahar Mirhosseini – social justice journalist / United States – Middle East – Global

As a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, WNN – Women News Network’s Iranian-American reporter Bahar Mirhosseini worked as a staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society criminal and immigration practice in New York from 2007 to 2014. There she represented indigent clients on misdemeanor and felony charges in numerous criminal pretrial, trial, and post-conviction proceedings, especially for those who have been detained by immigration and customs enforcement. While a student at Cape Town University, she worked with South African Commission on the Status of Women and studied the effects of discrimination.  She is a Haywood Burned Fellow in Civil and Human rights and Millspaugh Catlin International Human Rights Fellow at the Center of Constitutional Rights.  Through her work on the Advisory Board of Equal Justice Works in Washington D.C., and other action-based campaigns,  Mirhosseini has come to know deeply what it takes to improve the world.


Shuriah Niazi – health and development journalist / South Asia – Central India

WNN correspondent Shuriah Niazi is based in the Central Madhya Pradesh region of India. In 2006, he received award recognition at the sixth Sarojini Naidu journalism awards hosted by The Hunger Project – India. In 2011 Niazi received a UNFPA Ladlii Media Award for Best web writing for a WNN story on dalit women who have suffered severely under accusations of witchcraft in Chhattisgarh rural India. Another WNN article (via Niazi) also received international attention through a 2011 ELi Lilly / REACH MDR-TB Award for outstanding writing on tuberculosis with a story covering India’s TB and the widows of miners who often die shortly after their husbands. This WNN story was also featured with our media partner The Guardian News Global Development Network.


WNN - Journalist - Eva Fernandez Ortiz
Eva Fernández Ortiz – foreign affairs journalist / UK – Western Europe – Middle Africa

WNN U.K. correspondent Eva Fernández is a native of Barcelona,Spain with an M.A. in Journalism from Cardiff University, U.K. with a specialty in women and gender, current affairs and international development. As a WNN reporter now living in London she is also a broadcast and video producer. In 2010 Fernández finished an in-depth study on the women of Cameroon on female self-mutilation in “‘Why breast ironing’? – Women’s Rights and Gender Inequalities”.


WNN journallist Carli Pierson
Carli Pierson – women & justice – human rights in society news correspondent / U.S. – Switzerland – Europe

In 2012 WNN human rights journalist and correspondent in Europe Carli Pierson worked as a legal intern at the Geneva headquarters of the International non-governmental organization International Bridges to Justice. She recently received her Juris Doctorate, with honors and a concentration in international law from Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad Law center in May 2012. While in law school she worked for the U.S. Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and for Senior Federal Judge John L. Kane. Prior to law school Carli worked as a broadcast news writer for WSVN in Miami, as an intern at CNN’s Chicago Bureau. She was also an intern producer and co-host for Radio Islam, the United State’s first call-in news radio show produced exclusively by Muslims for a wider audience.


WNN Nepal journalist - Punita Rimal
Punita Rimal – gender and development journalist / Asia-Pacific – Nepal

With a 1997 graduate degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from  Dhaka University Bangladesh, along with in-depth training from UNESCO, Deutsche Welle and Ritcha publications, WNN Nepal correspondent Punita Rimal created the community radio show “Kantipur Diary” for KantipurFM. She has also been a consultant for UNICEF Nepal production BALAWAZ.  Her interest in programming and in-print news covers many human rights issues specific to her training with Development, Communication and Gender in Kathmandu Center for Women and Development. Rimal was also media interpreter for the 1998 2nd International Conference on Women and Water in Kathmandu, Nepal. Currently Rimal is also director of the board for the Media Foundation-Nepal.


Shubhi Tandon – gender correspondent – social justice / India – Global

WNN India correspondent in Dehli Shubhi Tandon has a background in print journalism. As a  postgraduate from Cardiff University, U.K. she completed her degree with a dissertation examining the pervasive attitudes towards women in India. Gender discrimination and the global crimes committed against women have been a focus of Tandon’s since her undergraduate days in English Literature from Delhi. Shubhi believes strongly by reporting the struggles that women face everyday, she can help usher a shift in global attitudes and awareness.



WNN intern, Deborah Mazon
Mijiza Mazon – media watch officer / women and development – human rights / U.S. – Global

Deborah Mazon is a dedicated rights defender who actively assisted and participated in Cesar Chavez marches and apartheid South Africa protests. She has been involved in numerous campaigns to empower women through the use of media. Her current work for women in development includes: “Mijiza’s Blog – (Global) African  Descent History, News & Culture” and her visual arts blog, “International Women in Photography,” published through PNN – Personal News Network, founded by award winning journalist, Lauren Elliot, creator of the educational global geo-game series, “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”



WNN Intern Christelle Tambi small image
Christelle Tambi – social media intern / women’s rights & advocacy / Africa – Global

Masters Student of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with “Human rights for all” focus at the University of Essex in Colchester, WNN Social Media intern Christelle Tambi is particularly focused on issues covering gender violence, sexual and reproductive rights, harmful stereotypes and cultural practices affecting women globally. Tambi’s special attention is also with Central and West Africa. “I strongly believe that by reporting the struggles women face, it will help to raise awareness, inform others and even push leaders to action. Reporting could really help change the situation, one woman at a time,” shares Christelle.


WNN is also currently looking for 2 more interns to join our team for a 3 month internship. If this sounds interesting to you contact us HERE and let us know why you want to improve conditions for women around the globe.