FIJI: Rural Women Radio Activism

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Fiji Times
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

Young women from rural areas in the country plan to use community radio broadcast as a means to address the issues which affect their daily lives.

A team of 21 young women from Labasa, Nadi, Suva, the autonomous region of Bougainville, Tonga and the Solomon Islands will go through two weeks of community radio and media advocacy capacity building to enhance their roles as core producers and broadcasters for the regional women's media and policy network.

The weeklong training has been co-ordinated by FemLINKPACIFIC since 2007.

FemLINKPACIFIC executive director Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls said yesterday the women were in Nausori where they met with the other young women who were already part of the FemLINKPACIFIC's Generation Next group.

Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said the young women were linked with women who had attended their Nausori meetings to get a feel of what the program was about.

She said the community radio was a platform for young women who otherwise would not have any other chance to raise their concerns.

"Yesterday the young women talked about common issues and looked at it in the context of using technology to address them," she said.

Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said their discussions were on how to use community radio to get to women in the rural areas and the need to develop some radio series on issues that connected women in all divisions.

"Some of these issues are women's access to good housing, food security, education and health issues," she said.

Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said the women highlighted the need for radio segments which provided information on pap-smear and how it worked, its advantage and the danger of cervical cancer to women.

She said the need for a package with information on such issues was highlighted by the participants.

"This field trip to Nausori was good for these young women because it took them out of Suva into a community where women such as themselves deal with certain issues daily," she said.

The training workshop continues today.