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Happy International Women’s Day

March 8, 2011


Sudanese women displaying their brilliance


While the last 100 years have brought huge progress to some people in some places some of the time, this 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day also reminds us of the vast inequities that exist around the world today, and the difficulties that women and girls face worldwide.

At SFCG we bring a gendered lens to all the work we do, making certain to engage women and make sure their voices are heard. Here are just three of the many projects we are doing around the world to engage with women as peace builders.

I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves.  ~Mary Wollstonecraft

at Rusugui Ngozi – the population welcomes women representatives from local government institutions.

Radio Promotes Women’s Leadership in Burundi

On 12 February 2011, SFCG Burundi launched a new radio programme entitled ‘Umwanya Ni Rwawe’ (It’s your time, it’s your opportunity), targeting Burundian women leaders in the public and private sectors at the local level.

Umwanya Ni Rwawe is produced within the framework of SFCG’s larger project ‘Nawe Arashoboye!’ (Yes, She can too!), implemented in partnership with UN WOMEN.  This project seeks to strengthen the leadership capacity of women leaders at the community level. More specifically, it aims to ensure that newly elected women and women leaders from both the private and public sectors are equipped with the necessary tools to play an active role in governance, and that their increased inclusion brings about concrete social change and gender equality in Burundi.

Umwanya Ni Rwawe airs every second Saturday on Radio Isanganiro, an independent station heard throughout the country. The opening programme included an audience survey asking the degree of satisfaction with women representation in government institutions. Interviewees acknowledged there has been a positive evolution, particularly for elected positions (parliament, senators, administrator, etc.). However, for non-elected posts (governors in the provinces, ambassadors, cabinet directors or general directors, etc.) few women have reached leading role.  For Ms. Scolastique, General Director of the Promotion of Women and Gender Equality within the Burundian Ministry of Human Rights and Gender, there is still a long way to go, especially in the private sector, where very few women reach management positions (board of directors, administrative councils).

SFCG is recognised for integrating a gender dimension into its programmes. Recently, SFCG journalist, Daniella Niteka received received the Gender and Media Award of the Burundian Women Journalists Association (AFJO).


Women’s Leadership Program in Indonesia

In 2010, SFCG Indonesia and SFCG’s Leadership Wisdom Initiative (LWI) launched a new 24-month initiative to provide ongoing leadership development for women parliamentarians and civic leaders, while strengthening the capacity of partner Indonesian women’s organisations: Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia (KPI, the Indonesian Women’s Coalition) and Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan (YJP, Women’s Journal Foundation). This programme aims at increasing women’s political leadership skills and their ability to harness the power of the media for advocacy and political action, through training, coaching and facilitating leadership forums.

SFCG is working to empower women and support their roles in conflict transformation.

SFCG recently organised a Training of Trainers for 15 KPI senior facilitators on Effective Political Leadership, Coaching and Effective Media Messaging. The women came from eight different provinces (Jawa Barat, Banten, DKI Jakarta, Jawa Tengah, D.I. Yogyakarta, Jawa Timur, Bengkulu and Nusa Tenggara Barat). Workshops for 25 local parliamentarians (female and male) in each of these provinces will follow in the coming months.

According to Farsijana Adeney Risakotta, KPI senior facilitator from D.I. Yogyakarta: “This workshop has helped me develop my leadership skills. It also enables me to assist people around me in achieving their best potential through processing their own strengths.”

In order to increase Indonesian women’s opportunities for political decision-making, SFGC is also working with local media partners to develop and broadcast a radio drama and interactive radio talk shows that promote gender-sensitivity and women’s empowerment in the country. With YJP and relevant stakeholders, SFCG will soon hold a curriculum summit to define the key messages that the radio drama will convey. Before broadcasting, trainings will be organised with radio partners, to further raise awareness on gender-sensitivity in media production.


Strengthening Women’s Voices in Liberia

SFCG Liberia recently launched a new radio programme, Women’s Voices, designed to increase the visibility of women’s needs across the country, and more specifically in the Lofa county located in the northernmost part of Liberia.

Two of our radio hosts in Liberia.


The radio show addresses a wide range of issues pertinent to Liberian women, including sexual and gender based violence, women’s participation in decision-making, community development, HIV/AIDS, women’s place in business, and the role of women in promoting reconciliation. To date, 16 programmes have been aired, bringing forward the perspectives of women leaders and community members, as well as specific facts on the issues addressed.

Women’s Voices broadcasts every Tuesday on Radio Kintoma, a community radio station located in the Lofa County and supported by SFCG. Listeners, both male and female, have expressed their appreciation for this groundbreaking programme, which provides a platform for discussion on women’s issues and thereby an opportunity to improve women’s access to information on critical social and development issues. “This sort of programming enables both males and females to live together in peace without any one group believing that they are preferred over the other,” said a male listener in the Lofa county.

After 14 years of civil war during which women were disproportionately affected by violence, women remain the most vulnerable group in society. Through its radio programming, SFCG aims to enhance and build the capacity of local actors, and particularly women, to create positive changes in their communities, a crucial dimension in the perspective of the 2011 general election, scheduled to be held in October.

Find out about other work we’re doing in these countries and more, here!

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