Indian Women in Community Radio: The Case Studies of Radio Namaskar in Orissa and Radio Dhadkan in Madhya Pradesh
- Community Radio as a platform of change
- Women and media
- Women in Community Radio
- Research approach, strategy and limitations
- Gender norms and roles: hindering factors of women participation
- Empowerment: a definition
- List of interviews and focus groups
Community Radio stations are run by community-based organizations, their programs are usually in local language and produced by ordinary people according to territory specific information needs. In India, Community Radio is a flourishing sector and an opportunity that women, who are traditionally excluded from the public sphere, are entering. Little studies, specifically placed in India, that expose women’s perspectives on how the engagement in Community Radio activity changes their lives have been conducted so far. This paper aims to contribute to fill this gap by providing an understanding on four dimensions of empowerment that are initiated through participation in Community Radio and on how gender norms and roles interweave with such a process. This objective is pursued through two qualitative case studies: Radio Namaskar, in Orissa, and Radio Dhadkan, in Madhya Pradesh. The study shows that, although responsibility of domestic duties, restricted mobility and submission to in-laws hinder women’s participation in Community Radio, elements of empowerment, such as improved awareness, skills, access to information, consideration within family and community and motivation to engage in social change, occur. However, only long-term and fieldwork-rich studies would enable to establish whether this process expands women’s agency throughout their lives and to what extent it leads to visible change in the advancement of women within the larger society.
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