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More Young Women Join Community Radio Network

23 November 2011

“As a young woman you can make a difference. My message for the 16 days of activism is for my community to be free from violence especially violence against women and girls,” says young mum Ana Rakacikaci. As a mother of 9 and 5 year olds, her priorities are food prices, preventing teenage pregnancies and drug and substance abuse:

“I know through this women’s mobile radio, awareness can be raised to help women especially young women to be informed. I am passionate about equality amongst women and girls. I would like them to be empowered through the medium where their voices can be heard.”

She is part of a group of ten young women are claiming their role as Peacebuilders, communicators, radio producers and broadcasters as they undergo training at FemLINKPACIFIC’s community media centre in Suva in the lead up to the 16days campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women.

The 10 new volunteers, who have been brought together in conjunction with the Catholic Women’s League are learning about community radio, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) and other gender equality and women’s human rights commitments as their prepare to take to the airwaves alongside Generation Next members.

Already their scripts are demonstrating that community radio is a platform for women and their communities to address the barriers to women’s participation in peacebuilding, which are linked to their human security and development priorities.

According to Jiutatia Bolawaqatabu who is originally from Taveuni but currently resides in Lami, the priority issues include the high transportation cost, water, electricity and road maintenance: “Everyone deserves good roads, affordable /fair transportation costs, good safe water supply, lighting and accessible roads. These simple necessities must be addressed to enable women to carry out their task, in their roles as mothers, wives or in any field that they are involved in.”

19 year old Khaleila Vakatalai is a university student and her priorities include water problems, unemployment in youths and teenage pregnancies: “I feel that these issues could be addressed by having more awareness concerning the availability of employment in the workforce and youths having more access to contraceptives in the community.”

23 year old Aliti Catherine Biu lost her job due to the downturn in the economy and will be using the community radio broadcasts to talk about drugs and substance abuse, peer pressure, unemployment, suicide: “Recently these issues involve the youths in my community due to school dropout and also peer pressure. The increasing numbers of youths who are involved in these issues has risen over the years. There are more young ones instead of the old ones and their age range from 13 to 18 years. I believe youths in my community should conduct workshops based on these issues.”

This is the third year for the 16 Days of Community Radio campaign organised b FemLINKPACIFIC and the first time that broadcasts will be simultaneously conducted in 3 centres including 2 rural centres – Nausori and Labasa which signifies the launch of the organisation’s women-led community radio network with the Generation Next Project for Young Women Producers and Broadcasters.

FemLINKPACIFIC’s innovative community radio initiative ‘Fem’TALK 89.2FM’ has been operating since 2003, empowering and building the skills of young women broadcasters and opening space for Fiji women’s voices to be heard on key policy decisions.

The ‘Generation Next’ teams contribute to and stage Fem’TALK 89.2FM’s Women’s Weekend Broadcasts (WWB). These broadcasts are a key source of information for women about women’s rights and the promotion of women in decision making, links between urban and rural issues, peace building activities as well as national and local government policy.

Fem’TALK 89.2FM also provides young women with skills and confidence to engage in national-level debates as interviewers, producers and broadcasters of the community radio broadcasts as well as production of other media initiatives such as digital stories and through the use of social media.

The community radio station, FemTALK 89.2FM will broadcast programmes in Labasa, Nausori and Labasa from 10am to 3pm daily. All the programmes are dedicated to the theme “FROM PEACE IN THE HOME TO PEACE IN THE WORLD: ‘Lets Promote Non-Violence’

Programme contributors include Generation Next Suva, Labasa and Nadi, as well as members of FemLINKPACIFIC’s rural “1325” network in Ba and Nausori as well as the Pacific Conference of Churches and UNFPA. Broadcast partners include Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding - Labasa, the Anglican Church - Labasa, the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and the Catholic Women’s League – Fiji.
(ends)

For more information please contact: Sharon Bhagwan Rolls (M+6799244871 E: Sharon@femlinkpacific.org.fj)

Sent via BlackBerry® from Vodafone.

ENDS

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