Indifference of the community to the plight of the woman_ Radio Kwizera FM_ August 2016

Date: August 15, 2016
  • SHARE:

Name of the story: Indifference of the community to the plight of the woman

Name of the media house: Radio Kwizera FM

Country: Tanzania


Brief description of the item of work you submitted and motivation of why it is a good example of gender awareness and sensitivity in advancing gender equality Post-2015.

The Wahangaza tribe are a Bantu speaking group that are closely related to the Warundi of Burundi. They hail from the Kagera region of North Western part of Tanzania. Among the Wahangaza, one common practice is the resumption to work of women a short while after giving birth. It is expected that soon after the dropping off the remains of the umbilical cord, the woman is ready to resume her ordinary duties irrespective of her health condition. This takes an average of three to five days after delivery. It is to be noted that this does not take into account the health status of the woman, but the status of the baby, literally, the baby can be tied to the back, and work resume as usual.

With this background, I tell the story of one woman, Mama Arnold, a mother of two, who has gone through this experience I am motivated by the influence I have as a community journalist. According to health specialist whom I talk to on the program, a woman ordinarily ought to take an average of six weeks before she can resume ordinary duties. It is not the case here, my ability to tell these stories moves me to attempt and create change in how the woman is treated.

This is a good example of a gender-based response because it challenges directly the indifference of the community to the plight of the woman.


Why did you produce the story? What problem or context is it responding to?

I produced this story because I was moved to try to create a change in my own capacity as a community journalist. As a journalist in such a small rural community, I may not be able to influence direct responses to communal problems, especially those flowing from cultural practices pertaining to an entire population. However, by bringing them to the attention of the community, I am able to stir communal reflection. The results of the attached program are evidence to this.

Key objectives

What did you hope to achieve with this coverage?

The key objective is to combat inhumanity experienced by women in two ways: the people met directly in making the program, and the reflection that occurs among the members of the community after airing of the program.

In meeting various stakeholders, discussion take place. For example, elders talk about their part in upholding these cultural practices, the elite in the community who make various efforts at changing the state of affairs, like teachers who tell what efforts they are making to educate future generations; and the affected women who tell of their incapacity to change their status quo, among others

Target audience

Who did you hope to reach? Did you succeed in reaching this audience? What evidence do you have to that effect?

The most important group of people is the decision makers in the community. They vary from elders who guard the cultural practices. I also intended to reach those who can make an impact in the community like educators, because they have direct contact with the community and it is through them that dialogue happens in the community. Educators like teachers are able to directly influence the decisions of young people who will be tomorrow’s decision makers.

I have reached a big percentage of my intended audience and the evidence to this is to be found in who listens to us and the kind of responses we received upon airing this program. Some of the responses are contained in the feedback section attached on question 16.

How did you go about producing the programme?

How did you gather the data, how many sources, female and male did you consult? Why did you choose these sources and how were their voices important?

The data comes first from my own experience in the community. I also referred to a report by Association of Female Journalists in Tanzania (TAMWA), 2012, about Gender violence in mainland Tanzania, in its five year Strategic Plan of 2000-2014


Two male elders

One male doctor

One male teacher

Five women in a focus mini group discussion

One woman sharing personal experience of a similar case

One woman in the case study

One woman, a feminist, journalist and social worker

I chose these sources because they are able to affect change in the community, both immediately and in the future.


What impact did it have? What evidence do you have to illustrate impact?

Facebook responses.docx

Follow up

How would you conduct a follow up to your story and why?

After airing of this program, the woman involved has had a lot of relief after the elders allowed her more time of rest after delivery. Follow up would ordinarily involve going back to check on such progress. In other programmes, follow up would include going back to see if any tangible change has happened, it is not necessarily the case that an airing will produce the desired change, hence a follow up helps to quantify and qualify such change.