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Voice of America Celebrates International Women’s Day

Yi-Hua Lee is an international broadcaster for VOA Mandarin.
Yi-Hua Lee is an international broadcaster for VOA Mandarin.

In observance of International Women’s Day, the Voice of America recognizes the accomplishments and milestones achieved by women at the organization since its founding in 1942.

The VOA Charter calls for news coverage that is “accurate, objective and comprehensive.” A diverse workforce strengthens VOA’s ability to meet that mandate and deliver balanced journalism to audiences around the world. VOA is committed to hiring and supporting women in every division and at every level.

At VOA, female journalists and female sources play vital roles in bringing out stories that otherwise might go untold. VOA produces multiplatform coverage by and for women around the world. Its 27 female-focused TV and radio programs – originating in five of six language divisions – cover issues ranging from politics to health care, education to technology, creative arts to competitive sports, injustice to empowerment.

The VOA Press Freedom desk regularly reports on the challenges and successes of female journalists, from the risks they face while reporting in restrictive countries such as Iran or Afghanistan to their efforts amplifying marginalized voices or underreported issues. Lead reporter Cristina Caicedo Smit and editor Jessica Jerreat won a Clarion Award for their 2023 project, “Risk and Reward.” It followed a female photojournalist covering crime and violence in Tijuana, often cited as one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

VOA maintains a speakers’ bureau and database of employees with subject-matter expertise, in which women account for half of the roughly 200 entries. In addition, VOA established the Women’s Caucus in 2018 to forge a community of both female and male personnel that serves as a discussion forum and an equitable platform for professional training and mentoring.

VOA also is among 145 news organizations in 30 countries participating in the BBC’s 50:50 Project, a global initiative that aims to increase women’s visibility by tracking data on gender representation in the media. For the 50:50 impact report 2023, which released in March 2023, VOA reported that in 52 percent of its global content at least 50 percent of the featured interviewees or experts were women.

The news agency’s Washington headquarters features a special exhibit titled “Women at VOA,” showcasing some of its top journalists and the strides they made in their careers. The exhibit is part of the VOA studio tour open to groups year-round and for members of the public every April 1 through Nov. 30.

The United Nations established March 8 as International Women’s Day in 1975. While the recognition honors women worldwide on that day, VOA honors the network’s female personnel every day – and their sacrifice, courage and drive to deliver “accurate, objective, and comprehensive” journalism in places around the world with little or no access to a free press.

To learn more about the VOA studio tour program or VOA Experts visit