NICE has trained producers of the community radio stations from Nsanje, Machinga, Ntchisi, Dowa, Mzimba and Nkhata Bay on how to come up with programme production ideas and development messages on Sexeual and Gender Based Violence .
NICE is currently implementing a UN Women-sponsored project called Spotlight Initiative that is aimed at eliminating all forms of sexual and gender based violence and harmful practices towards women and children.
The project has a number of themes, but NICE is focusing on awareness and culture. The project is targeting women, girls, men, boys, gatekeepers, custodians of culture, and community at large to deepen awareness and consciousness on existence of violence against women and girls and its pervasive impact on the rights of women and girls, and the need to eliminate this evil.
Speaking in Lilongwe when he opened the workshop, NICE ExecutiveDirector Ollen Mwalubunju said it is no longer a secret that, at present, the environment in Malawi is not conducive for women and girls and also not good for raising a girl child as not even a single day passes without hearing reports of violence against women and girls.
Mwalubunju emphasized that by virtue of NICE's proximity with the grassroots people, community radios are best placed to educate and inform the masses on evils of SGBV and harmful cultural practices.
He said NICE will employ various approaches such as community mobilization; raising awareness through media efforts (both social and traditional); working with men; strengthening community institutions; supporting existing women movements and bridging the gap with local authorities.
“In any democratic society there are a number of tools for promoting access to information and voice opportunities which include public service and commercial broadcasters. These however, can overlook or under represent rural, grassroots and minority groups who are increasingly being marginalized and have their rights violated in all manner of ways. NICE, being a grassroots organization, has always noted that the grassroots are always left out in accessing information.Trust organized thetraining workshop so that producers have the knowledge in coming up with messages and programmes aimed at preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls in all settings including rural and urban,” he said.