Communities of Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal, in the North West of South Sudan have been sensitized on how to report incidents of sexual harassment, abuse and violence against women. This happened during a radio discussion sponsored by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), having perceived the crucial role that media can play in ending gender-based violence.
Participating youth are optimistic that the media has a role to play in breaking the silence on taboos like rape and other forms of sexual abuse. Sensitive issues such as early and forced marriages are also included.
Three community radio stations with the greatest reach and number of listeners in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State – Akol Yam, Weerbei, and Nhomlaau – are powerful vehicles of important information in the region. They have been educating communities, which is necessary to help eradicate violence against women. Education on these issues can happen during discussions held on different media platforms.
Mariama Dauda, a Civil Affairs Officer serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, highlighted the importance of radio programmes to reach audiences in faraway places who may have no other chance of receiving such information.
Local media has been considered important when it comes to fighting these alarmingly common issues, raising awareness through messages on ending violence against women, which have been translated into local languages so as to maximize their reach and impact.
These live radio shows like these are a valuable asset in spreading the word, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, as many cannot attend workshops or read written material on how to prevent gender-based violence-
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