Fijian women's community media: coherent capacity building

Curator's Note

femLINKpacific is a feminist community media organization, for and run by women, in Fiji. With a community radio station, femTALK89.5FM, a mobile community radio platform 'Mobile Suitcase Radio' (MSR), a mobile phone based weather communications socio-technical network, 'Women's Weather Watch' (WWW), and other platforms and venues, such as monthly women leaders gatherings, 'Radio with Pictures', and publications such as the 'Community Radio Times' and 'Herowins' comic, femLINKpacific aims to highlight women's voices in community governance structures and in media, as well as address extreme weather conditions being faced in Fiji. The media artifact displayed here, is from one of their platforms, 'Radio with Pictures' which is a YouTube, radio, and Sunday night TV show that highlights women's voices on community issues. This specific series of 'Radio with Pictures', is following Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, which was the strongest Tropical Cyclone, Category 5, to ever make landfall in the Southern hemisphere.

One of the main characteristics, of my PhD dissertation research project, which utilized interviews and indigenous focus group, or 'Talanoa', was understanding the coherency in all the media platforms, in enhancing praxis and 'voice' and developing capacity to participate in media and governance spaces. Through the various platforms, of MSR, or women leaders speaking with the network of femLINKpacific's rural Fijian correspondents, the indigenous Fijian iTaukei, and Indo-Fijian women, were able to increasingly find mutual support, and empathy, in collaborating with a peer network of women leaders to develop capacity to speak about issues, ranging from extreme weather resiliency, economic initiatives, water, road and electricity access, indigenous farming practices, or educational scholarship opportunities, sharing information and networking to build social capital, to not only address these issues, but be empowered to speak about and consult, in collaborative and engaged venues. This enabled capacity for both iTaukei and Indo-Fijian women to speak more comfortably in the various venues, including 'Radio with Pictures', or in government decision making spaces, and thus bring their viewpoints into the public sphere, in media venues and policy making structures - to address and contribute their perspectives, ultimately providing greater insights to policy making and media audiences.

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