Working with the University of Sheffield
Radio and Women’s Empowerment Workshop
Thursday 21st June 2018
On the 21st of June, Project FemmepowermentAfrique and Studio Kalangou ran a workshop on the impact of radio on women’s rights and empowerment in Niger. The meeting room at Studio Kalangou hosted fifteen journalists and civil society actors for a discussion about the production and broadcasting of programmes about women. One of the key topics for discussion was the collaboration of NGOs and radio stations in producing such content.
The day began with an introduction from Boubacar Diallo who is the editor in chief at Studio Kalangou. Subsequently, each participant had the opportunity to outline their ideas about women’s empowerment and disempowerment in Niger. For example, guests mentioned the importance of integrating a gendered dynamic into radio programmes, raising awareness of domestic violence and female genital mutilation via the radio, as well as giving women a platform to speak through listening clubs.
Following these discussions, Dr. Emma Heywood presented ProjectFemmepowerment to the audience as well as her plans for future workshops. Next, Sacha Meuter, Head of Policy and Research at Fondation Hirondelle, underlined that radio programmes about women’s empowerment must be targeted at both men and women. Boubacar Diallo then explained Studio Kalangou’s own position on women’s empowerment, highlighting that a group of 7 female journalists had been hired to produce forums on women’s issues.
After these presentations, the audience was split into groups who engaged in very productive discussions. The groups debated how NGOs, radios, and audiences could collaborate on women’s issues as well the opportunities and risks of such a collaboration. After a lunch break, the groups then reconvened to share their thoughts on which topics women’s programmes should cover as well as the format such programmes should take. The importance of addressing women in both urban and rural areas was highlighted. Participatory theatre was also suggested as a powerful tool for raising awareness.
The workshop was very well received by participants who shared their feedback at the end of the day. The attendees expressed their appreciation of the productive and positive nature of the group discussions. They also underlined that future workshops were of vital importance so that NGOs and radios disseminate a coherent message in order that their aims to empower women in Niger are as effective as possible.