Gender training: A unique approach from Farm Radio International

October 14, 2019
A translation for this article is available in French

The International Day of Rural Women is celebrated on Oct. 15, and so we share this story from Seydou Camara, a host at Radio Wassoulou in Mali who participated in a gender and radio craft training conducted by Farm Radio International. This station is one of Farm Radio International’s partners in the Scaling Her Voice project. The project offers quality interactive radio services to improve gender equality and food security for seven million small-scale farmers in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, and Senegal.

I have been working at Radio Wassoulou since January 2012, and during this time, I have participated in many training workshops with NGOs, public services, etc. But since we partnered with Farm Radio International, we have seen the impact of their activities. Among the NGOs involved in supporting small producers, Farm Radio International is unique thanks to its extraordinary information and communication system. Farmers have more and more experience for improved production using information that we gathered from the FRI website.

In terms of training, FRI is the only partner who came to train broadcasters at their station. Radio Wassoulou received its first in-station training over two weeks as part of the Scaling Her Voice project. This training allowed me to increase my knowledge in communication, especially in technical skills and information gathering. The in-station training allowed me, personally, to better organize my different programs, in particular interviewing techniques: preparation, how to carry out the interview, how to ask questions, how to produce quality and entertaining programs. Especially the feedback from the listeners [which we receive] through the platform ULIZA—that is something that I had never seen anywhere in radio stations in Mali. And there was much more information that will be useful in all of my activities.

With this partnership, we were also taught an approach to gender equality. During this training, we learned many things on the topic of gender, gender equality, sex, and words that I have never heard before, such as “gender-specific,” “gender-transformative,” and the “triple burden.” Many of the participants, like me, thought that gender meant “woman” or “directed at women” only.

Through this training about gender, I was convinced that society deprives women of many of her rights, because I understood that women are “baked and milled” (worked hard) for the well-being of their family and the development of the locality.

I have learned a lot from this partnership with FRI and I am very satisfied with the beginning of this five-year project and am persuaded that good things are to come.

Seydou Camara was one of the winners of the George Atkins Communications Award in 2019. Stay tuned for more stories about the winners.