Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Brazil: Radio Mulher

After a year of training local women, Radio Mulher aired its first programme on July 2 [IPS]
I've become a major fan of Al Jazeera news.  They recently posted an article about a female-run radio station whose messages, delivered by women, focus on gender issues, social and health matters, local environmental problems, employment and women's rights. While the police have been aggressively trying to empty the favelas or shantytowns of gangs and drug dealers and stifle crime and violence, women still face sexual abuse and limited employment options. They women want to bring these issues to the forefront. One woman is Ivanir Toledo, who left home at the age of nine and suffered homelessness and sexual violence. Now married with a grown daughter and an active member of Women of Peace, Toledo says: 

"If you ask a man for a plate of food, you know the first thing that will pop into his mind. I started suffering violence as soon as I left home (at age nine). I'm talking about rape and abuse. And not just at the hands of one or two or three guys, but more. You're there against your will, at that person's mercy." 

Toledo's husband has pride in his wife's work and states she is happier than before. Women of Peace also want to address employment opportunities for women who most often serve as heads of households in their poor communities. 

I urge you to read the entire article, "Women in favelas broadcast peace," here.

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