Indian rural women find their voice through community radio

The passing of the law that requires electoral candidates to have a minimum of 8 years of formal education has marginalized hundreds of women in Rajasthan. These women, who were first denied education, have now been denied the right to head local governing bodies. At a time like this, small efforts like community radio are still standing by women in rural areas.


Community radio, as the suggests, is specific to a very small area and operates at a low frequency. “a community radio station is seen to operate by the community, for the community, in the community and on issues relating to lives of the community,” reports Huffington Post.  Even though community radio gained popularity in India just over a decade ago, it has been gaining momentum for women participation.


Vinaben, a 33 year-old woman and a mother of three, works at a local community radio station, and she is just a high school pass out. Today she creates programmes for community development is a household voice. According to Suchi Gaur, a development communication researcher, women’s empowerment and community development go hand in hand, which makes women’s access to information critical for any community’s development.


Women in Bundelkhand listening to Radio Picture By: UNESCO

Women in Bundelkhand listening to Radio
Picture By: UNESCO

According to Gaur women in our country are doubly victimized by poverty and patriarchy and they have limited access to information and education. She adds, “[India is] a country where, on one hand rural women are not allowed to step out of the four-walls of the house, on the other educated urban women face patriarchal foundations despite being economically independent. In such a situation, inclusion of women in development discourses through community radio can significantly challenge structures of patriarchy, introducing alternative practices, promoting critical thinking,” reports Huffington Post.


ORIGINAL SOURCE: Huffington Post

[Feature Picture Courtesy: Youth Ki Awaaz]