“Using Radio to further the Domestication and Implementation of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa”
From 2007, as part of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) Coalition advocacy strategies, FEMNET working closely with FAHAMU and the South-African-based Community Media for Development (CMFD) produced a radio drama play entitled “CROSSROADS”. This six-part series aims at creating awareness on the provisions of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. The Protocol is a ground-breaking regional human rights instrument that protects the rights of women in Africa with innovative provisions not sufficiently covered in other national and international human rights instruments. It commits African governments to protect and promote a wide range of women’s human rights by taking appropriate measures to ensure that all rights enshrined therein are recognized, respected and realized by every African woman. The Protocol takes the bold step to include freedom from sexual harassment, to provide for choice on the part of women who are survivors of incest and rape to seek for safe abortion and outlaws harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), humiliating widowhood inheritance practices and the right to reproductive health.
Radio is the most popular mass medium in Africa. With the emergence of the community radio movement, radio is reaching beyond the masses in urban and semi- urban centres to localized communities. Through this creative and easy to understand drama series, it is hoped that more countries will not only ratify the Protocol but also take concrete steps to domesticate and implement the Protocol, so that African women can fully take advantage of its provisions.
In 2010, FEMNET collaborated with the national Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to air the CROSSROADS for a period of six weeks. A team of community listening groups from the following provinces in Kenya: Kisumu, Naivasha, Kwale, Wajir, Isiolo, Malindi, Garrissa and Nairobi participated in the radio discussions and awareness raising activities.