Radios: A Lifeline to Safety for Nicaraguan Women

by MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.
Radios: A Lifeline to Safety for Nicaraguan Women
Our partners outside of the radio station
Our partners outside of the radio station

We work with Wangki Tangni, our local partner in Nicaragua, to end violence against women and advance women’s rights. On our most recent trip, we witnessed the amazing work of community leaders and activists, made possible by supporters like you.

Human Rights Radio

With Wangki Tangni, we launched a human rights radio station to connect women living in remote communities on the North Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and to share crucial resources.

The radio station has been around for a little over a year, and it has already had an impact on local communities! Women say the station makes them feel empowered, informed, and supported. And, they report that men change their behavior after listening to the radio’s programming.

Community Action Plans

During our trip, Wangki Tangni brought together women’s rights defenders and traditional judges known as wihtas. They discussed issues in their communities and drafted plans for organizing and taking action.

Many activists said they felt empowered to do the work because of Wangki Tangni’s consistent support and strong community presence.

Human Rights Advocacy Trainings

We also helped lead trainings on local, national and international human rights advocacy. We specifically focused on how to collect and document evidence of human rights abuses.

Intergenerational Leadership

We got a glimpse of intergenerational leadership at work. Women’s rights defenders were inspired by their mothers’ activism and plan to teach their children about advocating for human rights.

One of the radio broadcasters at work!
One of the radio broadcasters at work!
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One year ago, we launched a new project with Wangki Tangni, our partners in Nicaragua.

The women we work with face poverty and high levels of violence - and are also marginalized because of their Miskito Indigenous identity. Because the women live in remote communities on Nicaragua’s North Atlantic coast, it can be nearly impossible for them to access shelters or local resources. They feel like they have nowhere to turn for help.

We wanted to connect women in the region and share crucial information on their rights and local resources, like shelters from violence.

So, with our partner organization, we launched a human rights radio station - Voices of the Women of Wangki Tangni, 103.5 FM.

In the radio's first year:

We trained 30 women in broadcasting and reporting.

And passed out 400 solar radios to make sure everyone could tune in.

The radio reaches 115 communities, 6 days a week, and it’s the only station that broadcasts in Miskito. It addresses women’s rights but also features youth programming and traditional Miskito music.

When women hear the radio, they know they are not alone and feel connected to a supportive community. They also learn their rights and how to access or demand the resources they need.

Thank you so much for supporting this important project! Here’s to many more years of broadcasting women’s voices and protecting human rights -- with your support!

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Vilma&Rose, leader of Wangki Tangni, outside radio
Vilma&Rose, leader of Wangki Tangni, outside radio

Where we work on the remote, north coast of Nicaragua, women face high rates of abuse. But in their isolated and impoverished communities, these women often lack access to vital information on lifesaving support services.

With your support, our human rights radio station is changing that. With our local partners, Wangki Tangni, our programs spread awareness and share vital information on safe housing, legal protection and other lifesaving services for women threatened with violence. Our programs reach women living in 115 remote communities.

We recently visited the radio station and spoke with Kenia and Vilma, two of the human rights radio broadcasters. We asked them two questions: Why is the radio important? And what changes do you see in your community since the radio launched? Here are their answers.


It’s very important to have the radio station because many people don’t have any other way to get information. Our radio reaches every corner of our communities. It reaches people who don’t have televisions or other sources of information. With our radio, we’ve already broadcasted a lot of informative programs.

The changes I have seen are that people who were suffering from violence are realizing, they are opening their eyes and looking for ways they can report their abuser, their aggressor. And that's a very good change because if the women are getting that out, getting out what they have inside, it means they are leaving their fears behind.


There is importance in having the radio as a mode of communication. There are many types of communication, but it is more effective through a radio, through our station, to carry information to each community. For example, if we bring women together for a meeting, we can only bring so many women to share information with them. Other women in the community will lose out on information. But with the radio, we are reaching 115 communities! In these communities, the whole family is listening, everyone is benefiting from the information.

Through the radio, we are also seeing that there is an effect. We are seeing a change in the lives of family members and the community. As much in men as in women. And in young people. There is a change, and cases of violence have been greatly reduced. I see that they are coming down. There is not as much violence as before. And I see that in my neighborhood, there is more peace. That is the impact of this radio.

Thank you for your support of this project! With you by our side, Indigenous women in Nicaragua have found a vital path to safety. What’s more, our radio amplifies the lifesaving information women need to combat violence and end the cycles of abuse in their communities.

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Rose (c) Elizabeth Rappaport
Rose (c) Elizabeth Rappaport

Let me tell you about Rose, pictured above. Simply put, she’s a force for women and girls – and for their right to a life free of violence.

Rose leads Wangki Tangni, a grassroots women's group and MADRE partner. Where she lives and works in the remote Indigenous communities on Nicaragua's North Atlantic Coast, when women face abuse, they have little protection and few ways to seek help.

But Rose refuses to stand by when a woman or girl is in danger. With your support, Rose is creating communities where all women are safe from violence. She arranges for safe housing to shelter women escaping violence. She speaks out against abusers and demands action from local leaders to protect women. She educates community members about women’s rights.

And one of the key ways she does this lifesaving work is through the human rights radio station and programming that your support makes possible. With your support, Rose and Wangki Tangi deliver important messages on women’s rights. And they share vital information for women facing violence, like how to access protective services.

And great news! On a recent visit to Nicaragua, we distributed new radios, thanks to your support. Now, we can reach even more women with our lifesaving messages. Thank you!

Here are some photos from the radio distribution, where women received and learned how to use the radios.

Thank you for supporting this vital work. With you by our side, Indigenous women in Nicaragua gain the tools and skills they need to create communities free from violence.

Radio distribution (c) MADRE
Radio distribution (c) MADRE
Radio distribution (c) MADRE
Radio distribution (c) MADRE
Radio distribution (c) MADRE
Radio distribution (c) MADRE
Radio distribution (c) MADRE
Radio distribution (c) MADRE
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The outside of the radio station!
The outside of the radio station!

“Our station is the most listened to radio station in the region!”

That’s what our local partners, Wangki Tangni, proudly told us last week when we were with them in Nicaragua. We traveled there to attend the Indigenous Women’s Forum that Wangki Tangni organizes each year, with our support. The forum is a rare chance for women living in remote communities along the North Atlantic Coast to come together. They share their experiences, talk about the challenges they face, including violence, and create solutions.

Take this solution: earlier this year and with your support, Wangki Tangni launched their very own radio station. It's a vital lifeline of support to women who face violence alone in isolated communities. The station broadcasts information on women's rights and on how to access protective services.

Since its launch, your support has already helped us to deliver solar radios to women in these remote communities. Many are already tuning in to our human rights programming. We spoke with women who raved about one of the most popular programs. Not only is it broadcast every Saturday in the local Indigenous Miskito language, but the program teaches and reinforces that respect for women is a Miskito value.

This year at the forum, your support helped us to distribute over 40 more solar radios—two radios each for over 20 communities in attendance!

Each community selected two women leaders to receive training on how to use the radios. These women will be responsible for maintaining the radios. And they will organize listening groups, scheduled weekly times when community members gather to listen to the radio and discuss the programs. Thank you for making this possible!

And here are some new photos from the radio station!

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Organization Information

MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

Location: New York, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @madrespeaks
Project Leader:
Yifat Susskind
New York , NY United States

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