Regional News of 2014-02-14

UNESCO calls on radio stations to celebrate women

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is calling for the celebration of women in radio and the promotion of gender equality among radio journalists in Ghana.

According to UNESCO, promoting women's rights in news-making, decision-making and media ownership structures is necessary if the world is to harness the power of radio for the benefit of all.

In her message on World Radio Day, the Director-General of UNESCO, Madam Irina Bokova, notes that, “Less than one quarter of radio stories are about women, and women represent less than one third of all top level management and governance positions in media” asking the question “Without the voices of more than half the world's population, how can we understand the whole story”?

The call came when UNESCO led the world to commemorate World Radio Day yesterday, February 13. The celebration was used to, among other things, sensitise radio station owners, executives, journalists, and governments to develop gender-related policies and strategies for radio; strive towards eliminating stereotypes and promoting multi dimensional portrayal in radio; building radio skills for youth radio production, with a focus on girls as producers, hosts, reporters and promote safety of women radio journalists.

UNESCO, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, in collaboration with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Associations (GIBA) held a public forum and radio exhibition in Accra to mark World Radio Day 2014.

“Radio remains a major medium of expression and participation especially for rural girls and women in Ghana. It offers a platform for debate and information sharing needed to empower the marginalised. UNESCO encourages increased participation of Ghanaian girls and women as providers of content and as radio journalists," says Mr. Tirso Dos Santos, Director UNESCO Accra.

UNESCO, has over the years, through the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO, provided technical and financial assistance in support of Community Radio through its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).

UNESCO's support has contributed in the establishment of Community Radio Stations in Ada (Radio Ada), Asankragua (Radio Velvet), Winneba (Radio Peace), Sandema (Radio Builsa) and others in Amasaman, Ajumako Besease, Sogakope among others.

It is worth mentioning that UNESCO has also contributed in capacity development programmes for many female journalists in Ghana through fellowships under the Women in Broadcasting Programme with a view to bridging the gender gap in radio journalism.

“While we celebrate female radio journalists today, we wish to congratulate all who in diverse ways have used the medium of radio to contribute to empowering the vulnerable and the less privileged in society, especially in remote rural communities in Ghana” says Mr. Tirso Dos Santos.

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon adds his voice when in his message to mark the day encourages “radio stations to be more inclusive by equally recognising women in their staff and in their audience” and calls for the salutation of “women in radio today – and doing our utmost to nurture the new voices for tomorrow.”

Source: The Public Agenda
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