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Radio talks on Women in leadership to combat FGM during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Solomon Kemei

Teenage pregnancies, child marriage, and FGM as well as other forms of sexual gender-based violence have substantially been on the rise following the ravages of the COVID19 pandemic which necessitated school closure for almost one year. Solomon Kemei reports how Radio campaigns are helping to combat FGM during this challenging time.

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day whose theme is: Women in Leadership: Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future A Covid-19 World, AYG through our Chair, Solomon Mtunasi Kiterie organized a radio talk show on BK Radio as well as ran a two-week informative radio jingle. The radio talk show featured two renowned women leaders from the county, discussing the role of women in leadership at all levels and how women can use their influence in fighting for an equal world, devoid of discrimination and gender-based violence, especially child marriages, teenage pregnancies, and FGM.   

Success

The project was very successful, with Mrs. Dorothy Cherop and Mrs. Martha urging women to be bold in taking leadership roles at all levels. They urged girls to focus on their education and not to be distracted by non-issues such as love relationships during their teenage days to avoid getting pregnant while at school. 

Strong messages that came out of the media project

  1. Mrs. Martha urged the community to give women a chance in leadership, stating women are ready to take over the mantle of leadership. She urged the community to vote in women leaders in the next general elections since women leadership has proven to be more developmental  
  2. Mrs. Dorothy urged the government to consider the distribution of sanitary pads to all students to avert period poverty. She noted that this will go a long way in curbing teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs among teenage girls.

Unexpected Wins and Challenges

The callers appreciated the women leadership and the initiative of the program to educate the public on gender issues. 

The project reached over 400,000 people spread across Bungoma (Cheptais, Mt Elgon), Trans Nzoia, and Uasin Gishu counties. The informative radio talk shows are still running on radio five times a day for an extra week, due to the relationship we have built with the radio.

Linkages

Good working relationship with the radio management  

Next time 

I would carry out two talk-shows, one is a follow-up to the other for maximum impact 

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley is an opera singer, writer, and creative. She is running The Women’s Vinyl Project which empowers women and girls through singing and music. She is working with GMC as the Website News Editor, compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM across Africa.