YOUR DECISION COUNTS!
“No one deserves to be solely referred to as a lesbian, an African, young or a woman. We must be considered for our qualities and skills” was the message expressed by one of the participants at the meeting of community radio workers that was hosted in Matagalpa, the mountainous region of Nicaragua at the end of the summer, from August 20-21, 2012.
Although 20 female participants of the workshop hailed from different regions of the country, such as Rio San Juan, Bocana de Paiwas, El Rama, Jinotega, La Dalia, Somoto and the capital Managua, they soon realized that they face the same issues and challenges. For example, their work schedule which implied either opening a community radio station as early as 4am or closing it late at night exposed them to dangers on deserted streets. Solutions ranged from staffing daily shifts with female journalists and night shifts with male journalists, or making a transportation agreement with a taxi driver in exchange for publicity of his services. One radio station bought a bicycle for its female reporter, another adjusted working hours.
The Law 779 on violence against women, entered in force in June 2012, was in the center of everybody’s thought. The radio journalists agreed that the law is comprehensive, innovative and modern, as it introduced new concepts of misogyny, sexism and different types of violence against women. However, some definitions required further precision. Not everybody was convinced by the law. For example, women from Indian Mayagna minority stated that they would stick to their tribal law, and not to the law of the majority.
The participants of the workshop developed key messages for radio campaign to promote the law. ‘You decision counts. Life without violence is within your reach”. “Love is not abuse. It is trust, equality and respect”. In no circumstances, the campaign should convey to female listener a sentiment of being a victim or make her a sole responsible for violence occurring to her. It should rather encourage women to stand up for their rights and not accept violence directed against them. In that vein, the use of ‘Vos’ (‘You’ in plural) rather than ‘Tu’ (‘You’ in singular and informal) was encouraged.
The meeting of Women’s Networking Association of Community Radio Broadcasters of Nicaragua was organized at Fundación Maria Cavallieri in Matagalpa by Red de Radios Comunitarias de Mexico, A.C. and supported by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).