The Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) is India’s first association of women journalists. In its silver jubilee year, IWPC can say with pride that it has grown to become an integral part of the capital’s media scene and a popular rendezvous point for women journalists. The Corps now has a membership of more than 800 journalists including reporters, editors, producers, anchors and cameraperson from across print, TV and Web. Besides 800 members with voting rights, there are 94 Associate members and 18 Corporate members. Headquartered in Lutyens Delhi at 5 Windsor Place, it was founded in 1994 by 18 women journalists who having worked for more than a decade in newsrooms realised the critical need for a support group for women scribes to help them meet challenges exclusive to their ilk.
The IWPC, a registered Society, provides a forum for women journalists to network, access news sources, enhance their skill, exchange information, discuss issues, voice concerns, interact with peers and seniors, share experiences and find support to move ahead in the profession. The IWPC provides computer stations to members, a library and spots for TV reporters too to facilitate their work. The IWPC organizes press meets and interactions with eminent personalities in the news, regular workshops, background briefings as part of its professional activities to achieve its goal. Over the years, eminent personalities from across the political spectrum, news makers from varied fields and divas from the world of literature, art, music and dance have graciously accepted to interact with members, often (much to the delight of news chasers) given nuggets of information over tea and off-the-record conversation.
The role of IWPC was always meant to go beyond providing help to women journalists. It has played catalyst in forging friendships and providing privacy and space for women journalists to relax, work, bring their children along as they meet professional demands, get freshly cooked meals, have fun over coffee and let their hair down during festival celebrations.
Give women journalists a place they can call their own.
- To advance the impact of women in the media by being a resource to members and to the industry.
- To create a positive change for women journalists as a non-profit, nonpartisan, progressive, professional organization.
- To create a robust media network by making women’s voices and bylines more visible.
Frequently asked questions:
1) Who can become a member?
Any woman journalist from India who has completed three years in print media or electronic media. To be a member, freelance journalists need to be regular contributors to publications. Foreign correspondents based temporarily in India can also join provided they fit the above criterion.
2) What are the types of memberships that are available at IWPC?
There are four types of memberships:
- Regular members, who have voting rights, need to meet the above mentioned criterion.
- Associate members, who enjoy all the facilities but do not have voting rights. These are members associated with journalism; their selection is done by the managing committee on a case by case basis.
- Corporate members, who work in in communications and public relations departments in government and corporate sectors. Women working as government information officers or in press departments of embassies also qualify for membership.
- Outstation members are women journalists who do not live in Delhi. They can avail of all the facilities whenever they are in town.
3) What are the facilities at the IWPC?
IWPC has a popular cafeteria which offers a variety of cuisines at affordable rates. The food is healthy and like home-cooked meals. The IWPC library has books of relevance to journalists, and magazines and newspapers in many languages. IWPC is run by a dedicated staff, some of whom have been with us since the beginning.
There is a computer room with Internet facilities which members can avail free of cost. Members can also hire the club premises for parties and conferences at nominal rates.
4) What are the fees at IWPC?
At the IWPC, we believe in being self-sustaining without being unaffordable. Our annual fees are a very nominal: Rs 1600/- (1500/-
Membership +100 Staff Welfare) annually for regular, associate and corporate members and just Rs 300/- (Rs 200 Membership + 100 Staff welfare) for outstation members. The one time membership fees are Rs 3000 for all members, except corporate members who pay Rs 20,000 as a one-time fee.
5) Does the IWPC have any annual events? What kinds of events?
Yes, we organize several events through the year. We regularly organise panel discussions on current topics, invite various politicians for meet-the-press interactions. We also host special lunches highlighting specific cuisines. We hold a Diwali mela, a Holi get-together and a Christmas lunch. We also organise inter-media sports tournaments including the popular Scrabble tournament. Our international study tours are popular among journalists. Our signature event is our annual fundraiser, held in October every year, which raises money to sustain our activities for the year.
6) When was the IWPC formed?
It was incorporated on January 20, 1994 and formally launched on October 5, 1994. It is registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860.
7) How many members does IWPC have?
Currently the membership has crossed 800 and is increasing by the day.
8) Can male journalists become associate members?
Sorry no. Men can visit the club only as guest of women members.
9) How long does it take to become a member and what is the procedure?
It can take from three to six months for a membership to be cleared if the form is complete. The procedure is simple. Get a form from the IWPC, fill it, and attach copies of your articles, appointment letter and ID card if your organisation gives you one. You also need to get recommendations from two existing members of IWPC.
10) What are the timings at the IWPC? Does it open all days of the week?
It is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. IWPC is closed on Sundays and major national holidays.