Communicating for development: Capacity building of women radio journalists
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda provides a telling case study of the role the media can play in a conflict situation. The genocide was among the most appalling catastrophes of the 20th century and media, especially the radio, played a significant part both nationally and internationally. Prior to the genocide, radio stations and newspapers in Rwanda were carefully used by the conspirators to dehumanize the potential victims, particularly Rwanda's Tutsi minority, rather than address the plight and development of what was viewed as the minority in the society. Currently the majority of radio stations in Rwanda still fail in the area of communication for development due to a lack of quality programmes focusing on development issues. This project therefore seeks to contribute to media capacity in Rwanda, to play its role in communicating for development and specially focusing on empowering women journalists to produce programmes that address the plight of women and children in Rwanda.
According to the census of 2010 carried out by Media High Council of Rwanda, Rwanda’s journalists comprise 70.81% males and 29.19% females, thus demonstrating an indication of imbalance in the field of journalism. Through this project the Association of Rwandan Women in the Media (ARFEM)proposes to carry out a 3-day capacity building workshop for its members working in radio stations who are lacking skills in the design, production and broadcasting of programmes that specifically address women and children’s issues in the following areas: (i) Adolescent reproductive health, (ii) Girl education in Rwanda, (iii) Women and culture (marriage, dowry, polygamy, status, etc), (iv) Rights and duties of women and children, (v) National policy of family and gender, (vi) Women and poverty eradication, (vii)Violence against women and children, (viii) The role of women in decision-making bodies, (ix) Prostitution and its social and cultural impact, (x) Family health (nutrition, hygiene, vaccines).
ARFEM will carry out this training in conjunction with the School of Communication and Journalism of the Catholic University of Kabgayi to benefit from the expertise of their lectures in terms of journalism skills. A training module addressing the above issues will be developed in close collaboration with the School , and guidance will also be sought from the relevant line ministries addressing the plight of women and children in Rwanda. UNESCO’s Model Curriculum will be the main reference guide, especially in how to produce modules under communication for development aspects. The finalization of the training module will be carried out in close consultation with UNESCO Communication office in Nairobi and the Rwanda National Commission for UNESCO. Advocacy will be carried out and support will be sought from the government, development partners in Rwanda and from various media houses (radio) to ensure that the trained women journalists produce programmes on the above topics, and that the programmes are aired regularly by the various radio stations in Rwanda.