The workshop examined the factors that allows for discrimination against
women to take place in government and corporate-controlled media as well as in community media. It also identified best and potential practices
that enable women to challenge and end the various forms of
discrimination they experience through and in the media.
In her presentation, Cabrera-Balleza cited studies such as the Global
Media Monitoring Project coordinated by the World Association for
Christian Communication and the Mirror on the Media, Who Talk on Talk
Shows conducted by Gender Links and the Gender and Media Network in
Southern Africa (GEMSA) in 2006 to highlight how women are being
marginalized in corporate and state radio stations. In comparison, she
also presented findings from the AMARC WIN Asia-Pacific and Isis
International-Manila survey of 23 community radio stations in the
Asia-Pacific region and a study of Indy Media Centers (IMC).
Cabrera-Balleza said that the survey brought the good news that almost
all of the community radio stations that participated in the
Asia-Pacific survey have between one to five hours of weekly programs by and for women. These programs cover issues such as women’s rights,
health care, violence against women, literacy, and success stories of
women in society. However, women remain to be the minority in
decision-making positions in Asia-Pacific community radio stations.
In addition, women are also stereotyped in community media as is evident
In the fact that there a lot more women assigned to do administrative
work and very few in technical production.
Cabrera-Balleza presented steps that could be taken to address the
marginalization of women in community media. Among these are
recommendations from Indy Media Center members:
Acknowledge existing hierarchies: The inequalities in the wider culture
do not of their own accord stop at the door of IMCs — this is nothing
to be ashamed of. Rather than trying to deny them, they should be seen
as an opportunity for dissecting and moving
Create a safe and welcoming environment, if possible from the get-go, as
it is harder to change engrained structures later– e.g. inviting more
women to join a long-established all-male collective or changingan
aggressive communication culture to a less combative one; and
Improve meetings by providing attentive and fair facilitation, outreach
and encouraging different kinds of communication modes;
Cabrera-Balleza also shared the plan to conduct a comprehensive gender
audit among AMARC members to examine the nature and extent of women’s involvement in programming and management of community radio. She said that AMARC hopes to come up with models of organizational structures that would best guarantee women’s meaningful participation in community radio. Cabrera-Balleza stated that AMARC is committed to addressing the problem of women’s under-representation in community radio.
However, she also underscored that individual community media
practitioners have a great responsibility to monitor their own behavior and always be aware of the gender dynamics and gender and power relations that need to be changed.
Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a full copy of Mavic Cabrera-Balleza’s paper.
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, AMARC WIN representative from the Pacific
participated in the same panel discussion. She shared Femlink Pacific’s
experiences in using community radio to promote women’s participation in peace building and conflict resolution in Fiji and other Pacific island
countries. Jenny Wanis from Ipili FM in Papua New Guinea also joined the
panel. She spoke about how they use community radio to speak against
violence against women.