It is World Radio Day, a day set aside by UNESCO in 2011 to celebrate the evolution of radio and the role it plays in spreading of information and fostering networking and communication around the world. This year’s theme is Radio and Trust and I would love to x-ray this in light of gender equality.
From the invention of the radio till date, the radio has been the most trusted source of information to people all over the world. Although old and not the only means of spreading news and communicating to groups and communities today, the radio has stood the test of time. Lots of people have trust that what they hear on the radio is authentic and important despite the decline in trust for social media and the internet. The radio has also been the most accessible mode of communication especially in places where people are uneducated and have little access to modern tech or other modes of communication. In these places, it has been used effectively to create awareness and provide timely solutions.
Although women living in these regions may not own personal radios, they access information because of the radio. As a result, healthcare facilities and nonprofit organizations sponsor jingles, programs and give announcements from time to time to highlight issues concerning women’s health, maternal and child care, women empowerment, personal hygiene, entrepreneurship, and so on. This information empowers women to live healthily, care for their families, start-up businesses, learn a skill, make more informed decisions and be independent. They also encourage women’s involvement in politics.
This goes to say that if you want to reach more women, you shouldn’t just stick with modern means of communication like the internet or social media. You should be on the radio also and be there as much as you can because the radio is a cost-effective far-reaching way to empower women and create the change you want to see. By using the radio, you take advantage of the trust people have for this agelong mode of transmission and the coverage. You won’t just be reaching women in your cyberspace or those in your immediate community. You can reach women in interior villages, women who may never see the light of day without your words. So, don’t hesitate to walk into any radio station and plan to collaborate with them this year. Your voice, jingles, programs will go where your tweets and blogs won’t. I believe that if we are going to win the war against gender inequality, we need to get everyone (both educated and uneducated) involved because none of us are equal until we all are. Happy World Radio Day!
5 thoughts on “World Radio Day 2022”
A good majority of women who needs advocacy are in no doubt living in rural areas with or without a means to connect to the world. Most are not even aware they are being abused; they grew up seeing the world through the eyes of older women who wear the scar of abuse like a crown, and they were also made to believe that this is the way an ideal woman is supposed to be.
Radio as a communication advocacy tool has to be one of the best at reaching this target population because many people in the rural areas, especially the poor ones, depend heavily on sourcing information from their radios.
So apart from being cost-effective, it is also the most appropriate tool for getting across to women in that population and should not be neglected during campaigns.
My mum is a big fan of the radio.
She listens to it more than she watches the television or any other media platform. According to her, the information gotten from the radio is more authentic and personal.
My take on it is that, most people tend to drift more to radio than to other media platforms. Apart from it being easily available, it appeals to them more as regards the languages used.
Some radio stations are indigenous based such that people that are not literate will still get the desired information in their respective languages.
These applies to using radios as a means of sensitizing women on gender equality. Since it is readily available and used, women will be better enlightened through this medium.
Women will be equipped and will go as far as engineering their fellow women to listen to radios or better still, teach or educate their fellow women on what they heard from the radio.
They (women), will be able to listen and learn from other women who have been through similar issues they themselves are going through and will be able to relate.
The radio will get to the women faster, easier and better.
Radio is still one of the best communication tools, especially for those who live in rural areas.
Having worked in a hospital in a remote village, I can tell you that the women who live there have no idea what basic human rights are, or if they do, they are unaware that they are included in that right. I’ve seen a lot of them who have been abused, and who do they end up blaming? You were correct in your prediction.
“I should have done as I was told,” you hear. “He has a temper, and I irritated him.” The category of women who face this challenge knows no bounds, as even pregnant women are not immune.
These women saw how their mothers were treated as children and accepted it as the norm. A typical rural woman is unaware that rape can occur in marriages, nor are they aware that they are not gym punching bags; they accept all of these crimes in good faith.
The radio remains the most effective mode of communication for women in these villages whose husbands cannot afford even a television. Most of these women are exposed to radio talks while traveling from one village to the next; they can also listen to shows using their Nokia torch phones. Some people have radios in their homes as their only source of information.
So the use of radios in campaigns for women’s advocacy is one medium that needs to be discussed more frequently because many women in villages need to abandon male toxicity and begin standing up for themselves.
On the 30th of September 2017, I attended a program in Enugu, where I met a radio broadcaster, Ify Melody. I walked up to her and requested that I would love to be on her show as a guest on the 11th of October, 2017, to mark the International Day of the Girl and she was gracious enough to give me the platform.
It was my first time on radio and that one hour live program gave me clarity about the impact of radio in advocacy. I was pleasantly surprised that people called from different parts of the Southeast and even Asaba in the South-South region to contribute to the theme of the celebration.
Since 2017, I have had the honor of partnering with radio stations in Enugu in advancing advocacy on gender equality and the results have been profound. I believe so because radio-reach cuts across borders and more people are informed in real-time.
Also, gender equality advocacy on radio gives permission to disrupt the narratives that hold women and girls back while empowering men and boys with the knowledge of how to actively participate in contributing to a more gender equal world.
With radio, no one needs to see you but everyone needs to hear your voice for the relevant impact to be made. I believe strongly that impacts matters absolutely.
Some links of my radio visits are:
“Radio is the most intimate and socially personal medium in the world” Harry Von Zell.
This quote by the Popular American announcer resonates with my thoughts on the radio.
For someone who lived in a typical Nigerian home, I have seen the remarkable effect of radio on children, youths, old, women, and men.
It has birthed communities, empowered individuals, and disrupted societal myths and stereotypes.
Growing up, I remember seeing children running around the street, singing aloud, and dancing to the anthemic jingles of the Popular milk or noodles advertisement.
The market women and trade workers listen with rapt attention to their favorite radio comedy usually held by a female presenter as they perform their day-to-day activities.
The civil servants on the korope bus, in the morning on their way to work, in a heated debate on the news which aired the night before with an inherently passionate voice.
The aged men with their phones held firmly to their ears, listening to the morning news to stay abreast of the latest.
These and many more are reflections of the impact of radio on the communities.
Considering how old the radio is, one would wonder how it has lived for so long while surviving the era of digitalization and modification.
The longevity achieved is through the trust garnered over the years by their consistency and credibility.
This credibility has been displayed in various ways and includes quick dissemination of veritable information and the inclusion of languages. The radio’s inclusivity of almost every culture is beyond admirable.
Another remarkable way is the inclusion of women. The radio is known to be void of gender discrimination and inequality.
News about Reproductive health, economic, and political issues has been made available to women in various communities.
Through opportunities like these, women, especially the ones living in remote societies, were able to get enlightenment on domestic abuse, maternal and child health, personal hygiene and development, and financial and home management.
Although recently, there have been various reformations of radio into broadcast systems like Podcasts, Spaces, Clubhouses, etcetera. None has been able to create the effect and generate the impact the radio has built over the years.