CWGL Team Member

Cathy Otten

  • Portrait Photo
  • Cathy Otten
  • Senior Program Lead, Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence

Cathy Otten is the Senior Program Lead for CWGL's Journalism Initiative on Gender-Based Violence. Cathy is an award-winning British journalist and author of With Ash On Their Faces: Yezidi Women and the Islamic State (OR books 2017). The Los Angeles Review of Books described With Ash on Their Faces as: "The best kind of humanist journalism: lucid, transparent, grimly realistic.… (N)o book has covered it better.” Cathy worked as a reporter in the UK, and then as a correspondent in Iraq for the Independent and others. In her book-length work, Cathy wrote about trans generational resistance to slavery among Iraq’s Yezidis, and presented a political economy for Sinjar in the years before the IS massacres in 2014. In 2018, she won the One World Media New Voice Award and was a finalist for the Kurt Schork Memorial Award for courage in journalism. Since then, Cathy has published a series of investigations into corruption at Balad airbase in Iraq, and an investigative feature into the murder of a prominent female activist in Baghdad. Her journalism has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Carey Institute in New York, where she was a Nonfiction Writing Fellow in Spring 2018. Portrait by Alice Martins.