Women Make the News 2012

The 2012 Women Make the News campaign - Rural women’s access to media and information – sought to underscore and stimulate knowledge exchange on good practices in this area as undertaken by public service broadcasters, commercial and community media and NGOs working to improve rural women’s access to media and information. WMN 2012 mainly focused on two major issues. Firstly, can and how are rural women and men actually accessing (listen to, read or watch) radio, newspaper and television in their communities, and how are community media and new media/technologies helping?  Secondly, are rural women actually in charge of the programming, production and broadcast of media content?

Submitted stories and experiences 2012

A selection of stories, initiatives, and experiences submitted by contributors to the Women Make the News 2012 Campaign.

Charles Kariuki, World Vision Kenya

The story tells of the predicament of Turkana children herders who spend the day searching for pasture and water for their animals and the night in search of an unyielding education. Worse still, for those who go to school by day, government schools for that matter, their story is as miserable.

The feature is about the journey of children and especially the girl-child  whose quest for education is tedious and miserable in a region where infrastructure and access to basic amenities and needs is impossible BUT thanks to a WOMAN. Christine is a woman who has a vision of bringing the community together to get a basic education.

>> See the video "Stolen Dreams"

Blasius Charles Nji, Rural Communicators for Integrity and Development

The rural women in Cameroon have been given the opportunity to air their views through our monthly forum titled "CHAMECC Media and Democracy Forum" This is done through a round table discussion. This year, the rural women are seen as catalysts in the process of eradicating poverty and hunger.

They have, through our forum been advocating for loans from financial houses at very low interests so as to implement the MDGS on gender and women's financial autonomy.

L.G. Piyarathna, Saru community radio Pilot Project -Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

I am the chairman of Saru Community Radio pilot project. We will arrange  special women programmes on 8th March to 15th March 2012. This pilot project is in a rural area in Sri Lanka and we will arrange radio programme on how women participate in their development activities in Community Driven Development .

Nguyet Hoang Minh, UNESCO Ha Noi with contribution from the national radio Voice of Viet Nam

A radio clip about a Vietnamese woman of the Muong ethnic minority who has applied information and knowledge she has got from radio, television and the internet to  improve her family’s life.

Minia Varela, Asociacion de Empresarias Rurales (ASER)

We are a newly established association, but we are determined that rural women entrepreneurs climb on the bandwagon of media and ICTs in particular, to that end, the first thing we strive to provide is the necessary infrastructure, because until very recently we did not have access to internet, now our focus is on training and use of new technologies and social networking for promotion and development of our companies.

Although rural women are the most undertaken in recent years, even this is a bit sensitive and a lot of effort to discover the importance of enrolling in these issues, it is necessary to make an awareness raising and training is very important for the rural women themselves who make the effort and help them to visualize their work.

Irene Awino

Thank you so much for an opportunity to share my thoughts in this timely subject. I am a journalist in Kenya, based in Nairobi. My contribution is not that of my employer.

In Kenya, the media has moved in leaps and bounds to reach out to rural women. Many vernacular radio stations will take the crown for empowering women to maximise their potential. And this has paid dividends. However, there remains a lot to be done if rural women are to reach greater heights in their endeavours. The new constitutional dispensation is a blessing in disguise for such women. Their rights and roles as enshrined in the new governance order could not have been better. But very few efforts have been made to sensitise women on the provisions of the new law that can see them take up leadership roles that can make them spearhead policy changesfor the benefit of their communities. Rural women remain ignorant of the opportunities laid at their feet under the new constitution.

>> Read more

James Rajasekaran, Pard Vaanoli, a Community Radio Station run by Pard NGO)

The first short film describes the Rural women who has got access to Newspaper, TV and their experience in producing radio programmes and listening to community radio programmes of PARD VAANOLI. The second film describes the Status of Rural women in Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, India.

>> See the video "Rural women's access to media and information"

>> See the video "Status of Rural Women in Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, India"

Sapna Shahani, Women Aloud Videobloggin for Empowerment (WAVE), India

I am glad to see this initiative from the UN because it's a cause I believe in more than any other. It was because of this belief that women need more access to VOICE their perspectives that I began a community (internet) media project based in India, thanks to winning a Digital Media and Learning competition sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation.

However, since we ran out of funds, we were not able to raise funds for this kind of work over the past year. I believe our project went a long way towards highlighting rural women's perspectives from conflict zones like Kashmir and Manipur, about tribal rights, social entrepreneurship, health, education, democracy and other concerns.

I think it would be very helpful for people like myself working on initiatives to expand women's voices in the media for the UN to fund a report or a website providing information on sources of funding, working sustainable models and a social network encouraging debates about how to encourage more women journalists and community media projects.

Thank you!

AHM Bazlur Rahman, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)

In Bangladesh, there are now 12 Community Radio that are running. At least 50% of the producers are women in line with Women Make the News 2012.

Cristina Avila-Zesatti, Peace Correspondent

Is it possible to smile in war times? It truly does exist a model agency only for disable people? Who is known as the ‘new’ Ana Frank and why? What is the mission of the Peace Boat? Who is the only doctor in the world able to stop the Female Genital Mutilation damages? Do you know that in the Middle East there is a group of chefs cooking their own recipe of peace for Israel and Palestine?

Indeed: world is crowded of peaceful stories. But, for some reason, the mainstream media have decided to ignore them, and, instead, they used to present us a planet completely collapsed for war, conflicts and disasters.

>> Read more

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