Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation: Providing a platform to talk about women’s issues

May 12, 2019
A translation for this article is available in French

Broadcaster Chelu Matuzya of the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation in Dar es Salaam spends a significant amount of time thinking about women’s issues—from sexual harassment in schools to health services for women to family nutrition. And she takes to the radio to talk about these issues. In recognition of her important work, Farm Radio has chosen her station as one of the runners-up for the inaugural Liz Hughes Award for Her Farm Radio.

One very important issue that Ms. Matuzya has tackled is sexual harassment and teenage pregnancy at the Butihimba School in Nyamagana district. In a 14-minute program, she shared the voices of students, both female and male, who have been sexually abused or harassed at school and highlighted the impact on their lives and their access to education. Ms. Matuzya also interviewed teachers at the school and health experts, who emphasized the need for sex education and for creating safe spaces. These types of interviews are not easy to conduct.

Ms. Matuzya says that access to accurate and reliable information about sexual abuse is a significant challenge. Despite the challenges, she is now an advocate for gender equality and uses her role as a radio presenter to amplify the voices of vulnerable girls and raise awareness in this community of the widespread issue of sexual violence.

Another TBC program addressed the inaccessibility of health services in the Msanga Ward-Chamwino District of the Dodoma Region, particularly for pregnant women. Ms. Matuzya interviewed several women who described the challenges of paying for a motorcycle to traverse rough and muddy roads on the way to the faraway health centre. Women are sometimes forced to give birth at home, which can cause health complications. One woman even talked about giving birth in the forest on her way to the health centre.

Ms. Matuzya struggled with getting information for the program, including getting officials to talk about access to health care for pregnant women. But she has been committed and diligent in interviewing important sources such as nurses, doctors, and the executive director of the health centre.

Ms. Matuzya is empathetic, thoughtful, and considerate in her approach to radio broadcasting. She tackles sensitive and important issues and uses radio to provide a platform for rural women to speak out about their challenges. She speaks to experts and authorities in an effort to address these challenges and make positive changes in the community.

Her programming is powerful and entertaining and features a variety of radio formats, including vox pops, studio interviews, and field interviews that always feature women’s voices. These elements are enhanced through high-quality production.

Farm Radio congratulates Ms. Matuzya and the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation for their commitment to rural radio programming about gender and women’s issues and encourages the team to continue their important work.