Diary of a Community Radio Campaign: November 25 – December 10, 2011 FemLINKPACIFIC (Media Initiatives for Women - www.femlinkpacific) is offering the following for your information as well ad for republishing and further distribution. Please use the credit provided in the event of publication. If you would like to republish the article please let us know how it will be used: 27 November 2011 Connecting on the airwaves: FemTALK 89.2FM in Labasa and Nausori “Coming out from home and sharing out stories on the Community Radio station so that people can hear us and help us on what we are facing. Women have to come together in trust to work hard and also share their views on Community Radio 89.2FM,” said Adi Makitalena of the Naleba Multiracial Women’s Group. It was November 26th and our new suitcase radio kit for Labasa had switched on with Generation Next members Sereana and Lucille, the meeting place is the St Thomas Parish Hall in the heart of the town: “Going through the second day of the 16 days of activism was even more exciting as more of the women attended the 16 days of community radio broadcast for violence against women. Today we had the Naleba Multiracial women’s group present, all the way from Naleba which is about 15km away from the Labasa town and we also had the women coming as far as Tawake which is 140km away from the Labasa town,” said Lucille, “As I spoke with the women from Naleba some of them mentioned that some of the issues they faced were electricity, water and road conditions and one of them mentioned that in order for them to get help they should keep talking and talking and sharing their stories over and over so that people who can help will hear them and I really think that is true because the more we share our stories the more help we’ll get!!” “People raising their voice will one day be heard,” echoed Titilia of Naleba. In Nausori, where members of Generation Next Suva and women’s clubs gather around the suitcase radio station at the home of our rural convenor Paulin the discussions are linked to issues in the home. For many of the women, this is the first time to participate in 16 days community radio event, as Jimaima found out one day one of the broadcast: “The women that came in were Reverend Grace Reuben and Sandra Joytika Prasad who represented the Dilkusha Methodist Women’s Fellowship, Alica Lal, a member of the Nausori Christian Fellowship Women’s Ministry and Lalita Maharaj, the President of the Geeta Mahila Mandal. Three were totally new to the recording process so I took a bit of time to explain how FemLINKPACIFIC uses media technology to empower women and communities and they were all very eager to participate in the dialogue.” During the Nausori broadcast on Saturday 26th November members of the Vunimono village women’s group, are raising issues they would like urgently addressed because as Arieta a member of the group said, “Women are the movers in our village but only men get their say. Education improves our living standard.” Priority issues for the day included improvements to health services and the link between unemployment and drug abuse and violence against women. The women’s group members also concerned about the number of high school drop outs and situation of single mothers. Meanwhile sections and members of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) around the world are engaging in collective activism demonstrating our roots as one global women’s peace movement by our united participation in the global 16 Days Campaign. The 2011 theme of the 16 day campaign “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let's Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!” directly links to WILPF’s vision and work. For 96 years now, WILPF has led the way as part of a global movement, towards full disarmament, gender equality, racial and economic justice, and an end to all forms of violence. “We should never forget to do activism. It is what works. It's absolutely central to WILPF”, says Madeleine Rees (WILPF Secretary General) to a large gathering of WILPF-ers. WILPF sisters worldwide from Pakistan to USA expressed their enthusiasm to set about realizing the 16 days challenge. Worldwide WILPF sections are organizing a variety of inspiring and strategic activities to build on both the message of WILPF and that of the 16 days campaign! “It is inspiring to be the Secretary General for an organization that gathers so much enthusiasm and determination”, continues Madeleine Rees. With countries spending enormous amounts of money every year on militarism, together we call for a shift in priorities in order to achieve sustainable development, gender equality and peace! WILPF sections in over 16 countries will take part, including Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, DRC, Germany, Finland, India, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, and USA, as well as activities in Geneva arranged by the International Office of WILPF. ... Sharon Bhagwan Rolls Executive Director femLINKPACIFIC +6799244871 (Mobile) +6793310303 (Office DL) www.femlinkpacific.org.fj Sent via BlackBerry® from Vodafone.