16.07.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

Combatting gender-based violence through local radio

Local journalist of the CMC in Kédougou, Senegal, in action © UNESCO/Bruno Demeocq

The numerous cases of violence committed against women and girls reported in the Senegalese media give an indication of the extent of the problem in the country.

"The media reports on gender-based violence, especially domestic violence, rape, incest and pedophilia are worrying," says Yao Ydo of UNESCO's Regional Office in Dakar.

UNESCO Dakar has joined hands with UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to take part in the Government of Senegal's efforts to fight gender-based violence.

During the week of 16-19 July 2012, representatives of some 30 Community Multimedia Centres in Senegal will get together in the village of Toubacouta to learn about gender-based violence.

CMCs key to reach rural populations

The CMC volunteers will be trained in how to identify cases of gender-based violence, how to communicate with victims and how to create and animate radio programmes sensitizing the listeners to such issues as early marriage, female circumcision, wife inheritance, incest etc.

The training session is part of the MDG-F project on Culture and Development entitled "Promoting Initiatives and Cultural Industries in Senegal".

Funded by the Spanish government, the project started in 2009 and runs until September 2012.

"We are building the capacities of CMCs because they are key to reach populations in rural areas through radio programmes broadcasted in local languages," says Ydo.

"The rural communities are most affected by gender-based violence and access to information is more difficult in these areas," he adds.

Jeopardizing efforts

Ydo underlines that gender-based violence has become a social phenomenon capable of jeopardizing efforts made by countries in fostering sustainable development.

Senegal has ratified international conventions for the protection of women's rights, and voted in 1999 a law, which amended the Penal Code by introducing other forms of violence and emphasizing sanctions.

But despite these efforts, gender-based violence persists and has a huge impact on the individual and society in general.

The CMC facilitators have previously received training in the following topics:

  1. Awareness strategies for prevention and management of Gender-based violence;
  2. Training in Gender and the National Strategy for Equity and Gender Equality;
  3. Awareness of human rights issues.

During the training session this week, the CMC facilitators will also learn about the importance of developing sustainability strategies of CMCs, social marketing, radio editing techniques and environmental education.

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