Media Campaigns for the Prevention of Gender Based Violence
Antenna Foundation Nepal (AFN) in support of ESP/DFID initiated a project “Media Campaigns for the Prevention of Gender Based Violence” with the goal of reducing GBV by raising awareness on GBV and informing about support services and government policies available for access and utilization through media interventions.
As a part of several activities of this project, AFN conducted “GBV Message Development Workshop” on 27 and 28 July 2013 with the objective of identifying key GBV message for different media interventions and communication materials so as to strengthen prevention, monitoring and advocacy efforts against GBV. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Meena Acharya and participated in by 36 representatives (Female: 23, Male: 13, Janajati: 4, Dalit: 2, Madhesi: 1) from concerned government offices, CSOs and media houses including AFN. The practical, interactive, sharing and brainstorming sessions of the workshop brought conceptual clarity on GBV and enhanced knowledge of participants in right form of messaging GBV issues. The rigorous discussion during the sessions paved a way for sharing of knowledge and prevalent trends on GBV and clarity on the subject. Explaining the current scenario, Dr. Meena noted “Nepalese media is still unclear and confused about the GBV issues. Many GBV issues are reported in the media ignoring the consequences of the use of words and impact on the public”. Asserting the positive step taken by the government, Maheshwori Bista, Officer, Prime Minister’s Office shared “Prime Minister’s Office has circulated letter for implementing code of conduct developed for eliminating Gender Based Violence.” The participants agreed there is a lack of sensitive journalism for covering GBV issues in the market. The way women and victims are portrayed intensifies stigma and discrimination. Reflecting on this, Sudha Kafle - Legal Expert Nepal Bar Association, mentioned “as journalists do not follow the code of conduct while reporting GBV issues, it has been difficult to raise public awareness on GBV. Absence of reporting in the right form has perpetuated suffering of victims”. Charimaya Tamang from Sakti Samuha said, “The news should not assault human feelings. The rescued women should not be subject to stigma in the society due to the media reports”. Accepting the shortfall in the part of journalists, Ujwal Jha from Annapurna Post said, “We will be more careful and alert while selecting words for covering news on GBV issues”.
Appreciating the enthusiasm and contribution of the participants and objective of the workshop, facilitator Dr. Meena noted that “this workshop is a step towards working collectively to bring positive impact on lives of women and men vulnerable to various forms of GBV through right information, right mechanism and of course on right time.”
Consecutively, building upon the proceedings of workshop, a three days training on “capacity building of radio station journalists on GBV issues and prevention strategies” was conducted from 29 to 31 July 2013. The training was facilitated by Hari Kala Adhikari and participated in by 20 radio journalists from across Nepal. The training participants have already been producing gender related radio programmes. Radio programme production team of AFN also participated the training. There were altogether 12 female, 8 male, Janajati 3, Madhesi 2 and Dalit 1. The training capacitated radio journalists on tactfully and sensitively reporting GBV issues and disseminating information about women’s rights, existing legal frameworks and support structures for victims through radio programmes. For majority of the participants, the training clarified and deepened their knowledge on GBV issues including radio reporting and magazine preparation skills, gender equality and effective reporting. The facilitator urged the participants to be thoughtful and sensitive while reporting so as to prevent any form of discrimination and humiliation towards men and women.
Antenna Foundation has also began to produce and broadcast weekly radio programmes on GBV theme every Friday and Saturday beginning from 26th of July 2013. Radio programme of Friday is of “live” and entertains phone calls through toll free number to provide listeners a platform from the across the country to openly talk about the GBV issues and its interventions, and reinforce messages of the programme. The radio programme is of magazine format and includes radio reports, interviews, opinion of public and cases. AFN aired radio programmes on following issues through 46 radio stations across the country. The issues that have been covered till August 3, 2013 are:
- Is Female a descendant? Nepali law has a provision of granting citizenship on the basis of descendant of either mother or father but unavailability of such practice shows denial of female descendant by the society. (Guest: Binda Pandey (Former Chairperson, CA Committee on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles)
- What does happen when citizenship is provided in the name of mother?
- Looking at the Gender Based Violence irrespective of Education, Class and Society”- Talk Show
- Situation after the Domestic Violence Crime and Punishment Act 206
The radio program has been gaining popularity as is evident from responses of listeners from across the country in putting their queries/problems to the guests of the program.