Rural women: Radio stories


In line with the theme of the 62nd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (12 – 23 March), “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls,” and in collaboration with the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), UN Women brings to life stories of rural women from around the world, from Haiti and Canada to Iraq and Senegal to the pacific islands of Fiji. Produced largely by women producers, these stories, told in the first-person narrative, are currently being aired on local community radio stations. 

Fany Kuiru Castro, Colombia
Producer: Monica Valdes

Fany Kuiru Castro is an indigenous woman of the Uitoto Muinika village in the Colombian Amazon. Her traditional name is Jitoma Monaiyanhö, which means sunrise sun. She comes from the Amazon forest and for her people she says, “The land is feminine, because life springs from her and that is why it is important for us to take care of the land.”

Myrlande Zamor, Haiti 
Producer: Marie Guyrleine Justin, REFRAKA

Myrlande Zamor is a very important person for her community in Petit Goyave, Haiti. Zamor has studied in the nearest town in Haiti and doesn’t see herself as a peasant. However, she is proud to come from the countryside because she is connected to her place of birth and her community. Her greatest dream is to see her community have access to basic social services such as a hospital, drinking water and a school.

Nicole Edwards, Canada
Producer: Rob Hopkins

In 2016, Nicole Edwards received Canada’s Governor General medal for meritorious service for starting a youth organization in Whitehorse Yukon in 1998 called BYTE (Bringing Youth Towards Equality). Unfortunately, her career in youth advocacy was cut short with a diagnosis of scleroderma. This interview takes place in Edwards’s garden in the small hamlet of Mt. Lorne Yukon. She is encouraging and inspiring, and this is her story.

Poonam Chauhan, India
Producer: Venu Arora – Ideosync

Poonam Chauhan is from Palla, an Indian village in the district of Faridabad. She is an Angawadi social worker and every day she works with other mothers and women in the community. When she was a child, Poonam was unable to access education, so today she is helping to support other women gain access to education.

Palupi Pusporini, Indonesia
Producer : Noor Chasanah, JRKDem

Palupi Pusporini, Programme Director for the Women Crisis Centre (WCC) in Jombang, Indonesia, is involved in the protection of women and children who are survivors of violence. Last year, the centre registered 62 cases of violence against women.

Chro Muhammad, Iraq
Producer: Radio Dangi NWE

Chro Muhammad is a gender activist in the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Iraq. She says, “Women in villages, like all the women in the world face challenges. Although they work hard, they face discrimination in terms of valuing their efforts and having economic independence.”

Medetbek Kyzy Aida, Kyrgyzstan
Producer: Aizada Kalkanbeкova

Medetbek Kyzy Aida is a 24-year-old woman who lives in Kojomkul, a Kyrgyzstan village in the Suusamyr valley. When she was younger she was kidnapped and forced to marry the man who kidnapped her. Her mission today is to fight for rural women who cannot defend their rights and are subject to domestic violence and harmful practices.

Debora, Italy

Producer: Andrea Cocco

Debora lives near the city of Orvieto in a little farm house. She was born in Rome but when she was 20 she decided to leave the city life. “I wanted to try something new, to live and work with other people” she said. For more than 20 years now, she has been working as a cheese producer. Together with other producers, she helped to create an alternative market for organic food and together with other women, she raised the first independent Centre to fight gender-based violence in Orvieto.

Lucille Chute, Fiji

Producer: FemLINKPacific

Lucille Chute, Fane Boseiwaqa and Losana Derenalagi are three radio animators in Fiji and they describe their experiences bringing about a radio channel for women as well as the first community radio in Fiji.”

Antonia del Carmen Jiron Flores, Nicaragua
Producer: Wendy Quintero Chavez

Antonia del Carmen Jiron Flores is an agroecological producer, who implements agroecological practices as, “they are very important for soil conservation.” Her goal is to encourage agro-ecological agriculture as well as to preserve the use of native seeds. “We risk losing our own identity as producers, we risk becoming dependent on transnational companies to plant our products,” she says, explaining the campaign against transgenic seeds.

Mariama Kairè, Senegal
Producer: Radio Penc-Mi

Mariama Kairè is the President of the Rural Family House of Kairé All, a Senegalese village situated in the Thiénaba district. She has been fighting for women’s right and representation in decision-making bodies, and as rural advisors.

Emma Nyandoro, Zimbabwe
Producer: Vivienne Marara

Emma Nyandoro is a Zimbabwean rural woman who has sought ways to mitigate the lack of electricity by utilizing biogas (an organic fuel) for her family and community. In this audio portrait, Emma highlights how biogas has empowered her and enhanced life in her community.