Community Information Network (CIN) of Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (ACORAB) Nepal has organized an intensive interaction program on March 9th, on the occasion of 107th International Women Days. Activists and journalists have have participated in the program. The issue was focused on the women violence, gender discrimination and media role in streaming the women issues.
The program was formally started with the welcome speech by the president of ACORAB, Mr.Subas Khatiwada. He welcomed the entire guest and thanked the participants for attending the program on the occasion of 107th International Women Days. He expressed his happiness to announce the changes seen in the women as compared to earlier. The constitutional provision and the first female president of the country is remarkable aspect to address in this context. Besides that media has played prominent role in unveiling the women issues and fight against the violence’s and women rights. As the number of community radios have been increased after the movement of 062/063 has provided a good platform to raise the voice and fight for justice.
Similarly, the program was forwarded with the panel discussion “Role of Media in raising women issue”. The panelists of the session were Ms. Mira Adhikari, officer, Department of Women and Children, Ms. Sushila Shrestha, Beyond Bejing Committee, Ms. Iba Laxmi Shrestha, Gender Expert and Ms. Radika Dhakal, Journalist.
Ms. Mira Adhikari, talked that the importance of radio has not lessen even in the increasing demand of television and other medias. It is the first means of media for disseminating news and information. But the disseminating of the governmental facilities and the awareness services such as women education and the issues of women violence has been lacking. Nowadays many community radios have been established and the audiences have got lot of choices. Programs for encouraging the women’s entrepreneurship and skill teaching are mostly needed to be enhanced. The program should be broadcasted on feasible time to be heard by everyone.
Even in work place due to physical disability I have been treated as a second person though I have passed the same exam as they did. I have to demand and show my working ability. The implementation of the behavior is lacking. We should not be afraid to ask for the necessity. I have been trying to prepare environment on my own. Beside that we have been providing the self defense skills and techniques and educating the moral values to be safe from the possible accidents of violence.
Similarly, Ms. Sushila Shrestha, shared her experiences form her school days. The imbalance between genders and the restrictions for the women has been a big issue since childhood. But the situation has been changed and now the word violence has rooted the society. The family and the society should create the environment for women to flourish in the entrepreneurship and be self dependent to end the gender violence. All the women should be enhanced to come out of the home and she should be helped in her household work by the male counterpart. The work load should be divided equally whether it is a household or official. Radio should change the pattern of reporting on the victim only rather should advocate for the punishment to culprit. Success story and the awareness program should be prioritizing by the radio. The diversity in language and the ethnicity should be covered equally. We should fulfill the target of SDG by 2030 in gaining the equal gender rights. Women should get citizenship in the name of mother and the policy should be strictly followed. . We should create womanly environment to celebrate the day whole year not only a specific date.
Likewise, Iba Laxmi Shrestha spoke about radio and its access to fortify the news and aware the citizen. The subject of gender has been bounded only in the sex of male and female. The cultural practice, education practice, education and information practice should be viewed with different perspective. The Asian country has been highly victimized the by gender issue.
The visibility change has been seen after the Maoist insurgence, where female were forced to take the leading positing after the male counterpart engaged in the war. Media only should not focus in women for the empowerment rather male should be oriented about the upliftment of female.
While, Radhika Dhakal talked about the women and children issues which have not been materialize as a major and the role of community radio and the journalist in addressing it. Until the female is economically capable, the issue of the violence will not be reduced. Therefore our role should be to empower the rural women economically through small business. The news headlines are only about the women violence but not in strengthening and boosting the skills and economic development, which easily could be done through community radios. We should utilize the local resources through local grassroots. 300 community radios could be good platform to enhance the local resources.
Furthermore, Letsha from burn violence survivor Nepal shared her work experience in the organization on burn patient resilencing from homicide and suicide. There are 245 case of burn violence which is just an example. Women themselves don’t come up themselves but referred by the hospital. The detail of the case is not factual as many of the cases have been registered as an accident. Regarding the media, we should work on two levels: accidental level and the burn level. Media especially radio is listened by 90% of the people therefore we have been working with ACORAB for the dissemination of information and awareness. The patriarchal society and the perspective in interpreting the situation should have been a gap and problem and should be educated through media. The negligence of women leaving their babies here and there due to the work pressure is risking such burn cases. Media should work on this too and the regular follow up on the report of victim and the provided incentives to improve the situation. Media should double check the accuracy of the fact about the incident.
Regarding the issues of discrimination to visually impaired and physically challenged women we have been doing presentation in different schools regarding the possible violence. Besides that we are doing interaction program with patients, nurses and the doctors and organizing street drama.
The second panel discussion was done on the “Media on streaming the women issues”. The panelists for the session were Ms. Narbada Sorali Magar, program coordinator of Shakti Samuha, Dr. Jagit Kaur, Treasure of Beyond Beijing Committee, Ms. Sashikal Dahal, Female vice president of ACORAB, Ms. Ambika Rajtola, vice president of Working Women Journalist (WWJ)and Karuna Parajuli representative of WOREC Nepal and it was moderated by Ms. Bandana Danuwar, secretary of ACORAB.
Ms. Narbada Sorali Magar, briefly described about the organization and its working procedure on the issue of Human Trafficking. The organization has been working in the prevention, protection and capacity building and running shelter home for the trafficking survivors and provide then training and skills to be self dependent. The challenges faced by us are the change in the way of the trafficking in comparison to earlier. We have been internalizing the governmental policy. The internal trafficking has not been pointed out but our organization sees the entertainment industry as a place of possible trafficking.
Moreover, Karuna Parajuli, expressed that the dimension of trafficking has been changed in the name of house worker and the unsafe migration. The government is forbidding the women below 25years to go foreign as a domestic worker rather than creating safe and friendly environment.
Few research has shown that the victim self could take part in the awareness dissemination sharing their own story. The exchange of success story with in the country should be encouraged. The gender issues should be sensitized the dalit issues of the women are not focused in this program. Therefore, Intersectional issues between women of Himalayan, hilly and the Terai should be addressed. Rescue and repartition of the women in the society should be focused by media.
Further, Jagjit Kaur, focuses on the changing trend of human trafficking. New tricks and traps have been used and unknowingly the educated women are also being the victim due to the modernization and the increasing demand. The teenage group is highly influence by the western culture and is trapped in open relation which easily leads to the violence. Media is a strong agent in awaring such contemporary issues.
Meanwhile, Ambika Rajtola spoke about the activities of organization and the media perspective in women issue. The organization has been organizing different programs in Sunday club twice in a month raising women issues and prepare feature article for advocacy. The journalist perspective is different than the organization. Only the specific organization knows precisely in dealing such issues. Therefore, collaboration between such organization and the media is need.
In the same way, Sashikala Dahal, female vice president of ACORAB stated the facilities and the provision provided by the government to be independent. But due to the lack of information dissemination grassroots are unaware about such services and the media should play prominent role in the lacking. She talked about the Clara Zetkin, who raised her voice against the gender imbalance and the trend has been followed till today to internalize the improvements till the date in women movement. She further addressed the difference in the violence then and now. The constitution also has been working in favor of women and the nation has got the female president. The suggestion and feedback should be undertaken and followed for the amendment of further procedure.