“To be a woman in my community, it means that I am a daughter, woman, single mother and woman with disabilities,” said Viniana Ranadi Tokasa of the Tailevu-South People with Disability Network.
Following 2 days of pre broadcast consultations, she is one of the 29 women leaders who collaborated to produce radio programes reflecting the peace and human security priorities and reaffirming the leadership and rights of women:
“It is time that constitutional recognition is given to women’s leadership beyond the domestic or community level,” says FemLINKPacific’s Executive Director, “as women have communicated they do much more than managing households and getting their children educated, they also must be supported to be elected to decision making structures so that they can enhance the prevention of all forms of violence against women.”
In the radio programmes which aired during a “suitcase radio broadcast” in Nausori yesterday (March 23) Litiana Naidoleca related how her economic security relies on social welfare support: “(to) provide for my family as I used to be deep sea diver but now I am an amputee I have been trying to get assistance from the social welfare department.”
Access to education and employment for young people in her community is closely linked to preventing violence and conflict, she added.
According to Analaini Cabenaleatanila community level structures need to do more than acknowledge women’s roles “(because) without women there will be no families… because women raise up children and support their families”
The radio programmes enable women to link their realities to International Conventions and treaties like CEDAW, The Beijing Platform for Action as well as UNSCR 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) and communicate strategies of how they can also be part of decision making structures:
“It was truly good to see and as our network here in Nausori increasing and including women with disabilities and young women,” said FemLINKPacific Nausori Convener, Po Lin Fong, following the 6 hour rural broadcast.
“(Because) women need a safe space to talk of their issues and FemLINKPACIFIC provides them with the space.
The radio programmes continue to communicate peace in the home first, then to the rest for the world, peace in regards to economic security, personal security for the well being of the families.”
The programmes will also feature in the upcoming Morning Waves breakfast show and weekend segments of FemTALK 89-Suva as well as Labasa rural broadcasts.
The consultation and broadcasts are supported by the European Union, the International Women’s Development Agency and American Bar Association – Rule of Law Initiative.