SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

World Radio Day 2014

Tim Williams, Birgitte Jallov, Milica Pesic, Felicity Finch, Uzma Sulaiman, Gemma Ferguson, Robtel Neajai Pailey

Date: 13 February 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 13 February 2014Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Panel Discussion

Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Through Radio

Hosted by SOAS Radio and the Centre of African Studies at SOAS, University of London & supported by UNESCO

World Radio Day is an occasion to recognise and celebrate the importance of radio as a communication tool worldwide. This year’s event will focus on how radio can be used to empower women and promote gender equality through: sensitizing people in the media to gender-related policies and strategies for radio; eliminating stereotypes; building radio skills for young people; and promoting the safety of women radio journalists.

‘The media has an important role in shaping society. If women in the industry would take up the challenge to educate themselves, they would be able to combat biased reporting in gender-related issues. Equal representation in the media is an important way that women can ensure greater gender equality’. (Aveseh Asough 2013)

The event hosted by SOAS Radio and the Centre of African Studies in London on February 13th will consist of a high-profile panel discussion, a communication-for-development trade fair exhibition, a series of 3 lightning talks, and a documentary film screening.

Panel discussion
The panel will be chaired by Robtel Neajai Pailey, a PhD student at SOAS, and will include keynote speeches by:

  • Tim Williams, Chair of the Board of the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Tim is also an award-winning journalist and has worked for the BBC World Service Trust and The Institute for War and Peace Reporting 
  • Birgitte Jallov, will share her experience of how community radio can empower women individually and within their community. Director of Empowerhouse and author of the well received ‘Empowerment Radio: Voices building a community’, Birgitte brings more than 25 years of international experience in her field
  • Charlotte Bannister-Parker, Chair of the Children’s Radio Foundation, an organisation that trains young people in Africa in reporting and broadcast. They have trained over 1300 youth radio reporters in Liberia, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa, and reach over 7 million listeners each week
  • Farid Littleproud, Director of Operations at Media Diversity Institute (UK). Farid is currently responsible for four MDI programmes in the Middle East and North Africa which each have a strong gender and radio component
  • Bettina Peters, Director of Development at the Thomson Foundation, the world's longest-established international and media development organisation, with a 50-year history of training journalists in ethical standards and quality reporting across more than 100 countries

Lightning talks
The panel discussion will be preceded by a series of three lightning talks given by Felicity Finch (Rwandan Radio Soap Opera & Sound Women Network), Uzma Sulaiman (LifeLine Energy’s work in Zambia) and Gemma Ferguson (Equal Access’ Project ‘Samajdhari’). The purpose of these talks is to showcase specific case study examples of radio being used as a development communication tool in practice.

Trade fair exhibition
The Communication for Development trade fair gives media and development organisations, technology providers and other communication professionals the chance to showcase their work. This year our exhibitors include LIDC (London International Development Centre), RadioActive, C4D Network, LifeLine Energy, Sourcefabric, Children’s Radio Foundation, SOAS Radio and JT Live Community Radio. The trade fair is a great space to network with other organisations working in the communication for development field.

Other programme highlights
The panel discussion will be opened by Talking Drums. This demonstration will show how drumming is used as a mode of communication between villages in Ghana, and is today recognised as being the first form of radio in Ghana.

In the evening there will be a screening of short documentary Leh Wi Tok. The film focuses on radio journalist and pioneer Andrew Kromah, who established a network of community-based radio stations in Sierra Leone during the country’s 10-year civil war.

An informal drinks reception will close the event and will feature music from SOAS Radio DJs and JT Live.

Event details
Entry to the event is free, but please reserve tickets on Eventbrite

Trade Fair Exhibition 5.00-7.00pm
Lightning Talks 6.00-6.30pm
Panel 6.30-8.00pm
Film Screening of Leh Wi Tok 8.00-8.45pm
Drinks Reception 8.00-9.00pm

For more information, please contact Mary Thackray, SOAS Radio Manager

Organiser: SOAS Radio & The Centre of African Studies

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020-7898-4984

Sponsor: UNESCO