The FAO Dimitra project: Strengthening information and communication needs of rural women from South Kivu, DRC
The FAO Dimitra project together with its partners, CONAFED, Samwaki, GTZ-Santé, King Baudouin Foundation, Radio Maendeleo and Institut Panos Paris, organised a Workshop from 23-28 February 2006 on «Building the communication capacities of community radios and rural women's networks in South Kivu.»
Isolation suffered by rural communities in the South Kivu Province, as a result of insecurity and lack of infrastructure, poses a major obstacle to accessing and sharing information.
Community radio journalists rarely go out to meet and discuss with local rural populations due to financial and security factors, and so often do not have a clear overview of the critical issues of concern for rural communities and particularly women.
Furthermore, rural women's associations have little opportunity to speak out and are not trained in the use of information and communication techniques. Their access to information is limited in spite of the fact that they play a key communication role within their community.
It is therefore essential to strengthen links between rural radio community journalists and rural women's organisations.
Dimitra, local partner organisations for the DRC, Conafed and Samwaki and Radio Maendeleo are organising a workshop for communicators from the Sud-Kivu Province in Bukavu from 23-28 February 2006.
This meeting will aim to strengthen the communication capacities of community radios and representatives of rural women's networks on the issues of gender in production and programming of radio broadcasts, women's participation in the electoral process, the fight against sexual violence and impunity, gender and Demobilisation, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In the DRC, communicators and organisations actively working in rural areas play a key role in information dissemination and popularisation which enables the involvement of populations, particularly rural women, in the development process.
In rural areas, women take care of most of the work. Consequently, they need to improve their technical knowledge and their skills in various other sectors. This is why it is important for them to have reliable information. This objective will only be feasible if local community radio journalists are sufficiently well equipped in the production of participatory programmes. At the same time, rural women must be introduced to the use of information and communication tools to improve their potential for participation.
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