First AMARC Asia Pacific Community Radio Training Forum

By Bianca Miglioretto, Isis International

"Many women are not aware that they can learn a lot from other women. This forum is an excellent opportunity to learn from women in similar situations, to improve their own working and living conditions, some of them even living close to our own country."
Yam Kumari. K.C. Radio Myadi, Nepal

Yam Kumari was one of the participants of the workshop on Empowering Women through the Gender Policy for Community Radio at the 1st AMARC Asia Pacific Community Radio Training Forum from December 11 – 13, 2011 held in Bangkok, Thailand: A Biennial Event Enhancing Capacities of Community Broadcasters for Tackling Climate Change, Fighting Poverty, Promoting Human Rights, and Supporting Sustainable Development, organised by AMARC Asia Pacific with local partners.

The 1st AMARC Asia Pacific Community Radio Training Forum provided a collective and creative platform to 150 community radio broadcasters from 18 countries of Asia and Pacific for learning practical skills needed to promote conditions for establishing and running community radio stations in a sustainable manner.

Utilising seminars, workshops, discussions and hands on demonstrations, the Community Radio Training Forum promoted gender sensitivity, strengthened community broadcasting for poverty reduction, and enhanced the capacity of community radio stations to address climate change and disaster mitigation. Sharing of ideas and learning of skills was based on specific thematic streams so that broadcasters could directly apply their learning to address the concerns of the communities in the Asia Pacific region. These concerns include food security, good governance, empowering women, improving literacy, generating employment opportunities, improving local governance, and promoting the rights of the marginalised.

In six parallel workshops the participants, who were selected on the basis of their proven ability to lead and train others, exchanged knowledge on best practices and received hands-on training in order to increase the social impact of their community radio.

The themes of the workshops were:

  • Natural Disaster Risk Reduction through Community Radio
  • Empowering Women through the Gender Policy for Community Radio
  • Identity and Inclusion: Giving Voice to Indigenous Peoples, Ensuring LGBTI Rights through CR
  • Performance Assessment, Sustainability; Self Regulation and Volunteer Management
  • Participatory learning formats: Develop capacities among community radios and their networks
  • Production Technology and Techniques; interview techniques, researching for Community Radio

The outcomes of the Training Forum were concrete productions that the participants took home to broadcast in their radio stations, such as radio jingles, dramas, features and interviews.

The Workshop on Empowering Women through the Gender Policy for Community Radio

“Networking among women in community radio in the region carries a lot of potential. I have noticed that we are facing similar problems and thus need to take common actions."
Cristiana Ximenes Belo, Radio Rakambia, Timor Leste

The Gender Policy for Community Radio (GP4CR) was developed by AMARC-WIN1 Asia Pacific to respond to the demand of women community radio broadcasters for equal access to the airwaves all over the world. During the workshop, the GP4CR was presented by Bianca Miglioretto, the WIN-Representative for the region. The participants discussed the gender policy and developed action plans on how to implement the policy in their radio station. The GP4CR contains six sections which provide ways and means to achieve the goal of equal participation of women and men in community radio. The sections are: Women’s Access to Airwaves; Women’s representation on air; Special Needs of Minority Women; Women’s representation at all levels of station management; Use of Appropriate Technology and Funding and Capacity Building for Women.

In the practical part of the workshop the women learned how to improve their interview and radio format techniques and on a field trip participants produced radio reports with interviews on the contributions of the women in disaster mitigation in a a muslim community during the recent floods in Bangkok.

The international WIN-Representative, Maru Chavez form Mexico, was present and took the opportunity of the presence of women from India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, South Korean, Burma, Bangladesh, Switzerland, Mexico, Timor Leste, and Indonesia to discuss the theme of the up-coming AMARC-WIN March 8 international radio campaign 2012. The proposed topics were: Sexual rights, climate change or women and decision making. Maru Chavez will propose these topics to the WIN-members of the other world regions and find out which finds a majority.

Juthamanee Areeya from a community radio station in Thailand stressed at the end of the workshop: "This was one of the most important meetings I attended since I started working in media. We gathered to find out how to best work towards the constant development, success and peace in the region."

The participants decided to stay in touch and participate actively in the activities of AMARC-WIN. At the same time they stressed that there is a need for more such workshops at national level to create more awareness on Gender Policy for Community Radio so that it can be implemented by the different community radio stations.

By Bianca Milgioretto
AMARC-WIN Asia Pacific and Isis International

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Panel on Women as community radio managers: Challenges, Problems and Success Stories with Mary Carling from Radyo Sagada in the Philippines, Sabrina Sharmin from Radio Chilmari, Bangladesh and Yam Kumari KC from Radio Myagdi, Nepal.

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Field interview during the workshop on Empowering women through the CP4CR. Eka Rimawati of Radio Suara Warga, Indonesia interviewing a leader of a muslim community that was badly affected by the recent floods in Bangkok.

Sources:

AMRC Bangkok Forum Report Dec. 2011
Workshop Report 'Empowering women through the GP4CR' by Sotheary Meysan, SABAY, Cambodia
Photos: Bianca Miglioretto, Isis International Philippines

For more information on AMARC Asia-Pacific, see http://asiapacific.amarc.org/index.php?p=home&lEN

For more information on AMARC WIN, see: http://win.amarc.org/index.php?p=home&l=EN

 

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