Many women and girls in Nepal remain voiceless, which plays a role in the high rate of domestic violence, sex trafficking and other issues they face. Equal Access is empowering marginalized women by training them to be reporters so that they will capture the experiences of women in marginalized communities on a range of issues that affect their lives. Equipped with reporting skills and the recorders, these women are now employable and empowered to make a difference in their community.
As several sectors of Nepali society, including women, Dalits and ethnic minorities, continue to lack the means to be heard, there is a great need for a more inclusive media that represents the experiences and concerns of marginalized communities outside of Kathmandu. This project allows women to not only collect the unheard voices of those dismissed, but also airs their voices on national radio programs, allowing their perspective to reach a mass audience.
Equal Access' Community Reporters Program provides a valuable opportunity for rural women from underrepresented ethnic groups and castes to receive reporter training. Trainees may include former victims of domestic violence, ex-Kamlaris (bonded laborers), etc. These women, empowered with employable skills and now recognized by their communities, use their life experience and new reporting skills to engage marginalized communities and amplify their voice and concerns on a national scale.
Finding one's voice is often the first step to empowerment for marginalized women and communities. By empowering women to engage with the community as reporters, the social status of women (and therefore girls) in these communities is being raised. Additionally, the voices of the marginalized is being heard - sometimes for the very first time - creating a space for citizens to engage in open discussion and work together to solve local problems and bring about social change.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
From Marginalized to Respected: Community Reporter