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One Vision Different Worlds

One Vision Different Worlds
In 1982 I found myself in a job as a newscaster at the national radio in my country. Soon after, I realized that while the institution needed my skills in reading news in one of the local languages, my heart was with the Rural Broadcasting Unit where the Women’s Magazine programme has been allocated. I demonstrated my interest eventually I became presenter and producer of the most popular women’s programme - Musol Taa (literally means ‘women’s own’). It became a forum to amplify the voices of women. At the beginning it was challenging to have women ‘speak out on radio’ but it later became a popular programme and many more women gained confidence to speak out.
As I became an activist journalist, I used the women’s programme as a sanctuary for women to share their concerns and how they think they can be address - this became empowering for more women and the demand for airtime increased. I took a new outlook in the promotion of new images of women as professionals, partners in development addressing the private concerns that have implication in the public images of women and their participation in development. Musol Taa became a recognized forum to listen to the voices of women. It contributed to stirring the national debates on women and gender issues – women and men all joined the debate in the media. In 1997, a media directive was given to ban the FGM debate on the national radio. I cannot be silenced about women’s rights.
I was in the middle of editing a draft proposal for a project to create an alternative media for women’s empowerment, when my director at GAMCOTRAP called my attention to an email from one of our networkers about the Voice of the Future Application for 2011. Reading through the email, I said to myself ‘could this be a dream come true, a forum I can speak out and be in control of what I want to say without fear of censorship or discrimination?’
Going through the VOF Application process, began making friends on Pulse Wire, I stayed late, sitting for at times two hours checking the different information on World Pulse. My daughter would laugh at me and said “Ma I can’t belief that you’re sitting on the internet until this late – wow Pulse wire!” Yes, Pulse wire for me is not like Facebook to her, I feel that I have space to comment and share my views on important issues affecting women and girls . It is not a forum just to appreciate a nice picture or the latest profile of a friend or a family member. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate beautiful things, but Pulse Wire provides a type of beauty that accommodates diversity, the courage to speak out and positively contribute to the changing world of women. I realized that World Pulse as a media network mirrors my vision of women and the media in a different setting.

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Stella Paul's picture

So Good

Its always so good to hear you speak. I wish I could hear you speak on radio too. In my country, we have dozens of radio channels,but they all play the same thing - music from films and gossip from film industries. Our govt is also not very kind to give license to non commercial, community radio stations. I am trying my bit by reporting on these issues. Your work can be very inspiring to many people in my country.

Wishing you much luck!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Diane Dillon's picture

start our own media

It is possible for her show to be on You tube then we could hear some of it. I would like us all to do a show on You tube that would be one idea ddenlighten@hotmail.com

amiesissoho's picture

Non commercial ...

Thanks for reading it. My organization applied for license for a community radio since 2008 and we are yet to get it but in the meantime many commercial FM licences have been awarded for music dominated broadcasting. Hope one day we shall have our dream come true. In the meantime we continue to look for alternatives.

Amie

amiesissoho's picture

Literacy is a big challenge

Youtube is a nice alternative for the young and literate groups but the vision I have is where non-literate women can use their voices to tell their own stories in their own words, without worrying about electricity or other new technology to be heard. My country has over 70% illiteracy and most of them are women.

Amie

Greengirl's picture

Hello

I admire your unbroken resolve to keep up with your passion. I bet it keeps you going. Please keep up the struggle as you carry in your voice, the yearnings of many women. I will love to hear your speak up unique voice power, until you hit your mark.
All the best!

amiesissoho's picture

Thanks for the encouragement

Thanks for the encouragement. The passion for making a difference keeps us going.

Amie

Maggs's picture

The vision you have is a

The vision you have is a great one and am certain it will come too pass. It has been growing and shaping up for a long time and am sure with the networks and friendship here, it will grow even more. You have stood firm and resolute and the rewards are sure to come. Good luck sister!

maggs

amiesissoho's picture

Networking and friendship

I have always believed that one day illiterate women will have the opportunity to genuinely express their views and we just happen to be the motivators and facilitators for them to speak out for themselves.

Amie

fem4femmes's picture

Sanctuary...

Dear Amie, every time I 'hear' your voice it provides a space of warmth and welcome and yes, sanctuary. Isn't it this that we are each in search of? A safe space to be and grow physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually... Thank you for having devoted your work and your life to offering this oasis for women!! I continue in my excitement to journey foward together!!

Wrapping you and your critical work up in the safety of my spirit,

marissa

"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

amiesissoho's picture

Together we journey to safety

Dear Marissa,

It is the ability to realize our space that gives us the safety to journey through it. Thanks for taking time to read my little contributions here and there.

Amie

char_lm146's picture

Giving a voice to the illiterate

Amie.
You certainly have a voice, and clearly a commendable amount of determination and motivation. I think your goal to offer the illiterate a voice is exactly what is needed, You are clearly an empowered woman and I am sure you will go far. Keep up the good work and I wish you luck with all your future ambitions.

Thank you,
Charlotte

(p.s but I visited The Gambia with my school when I was 14 so it is interesting to now be communicating with a Gambian once more, all the best once again!!)

amiesissoho's picture

It's motivating

Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for taking time to read my article. It's motivating and technology is keeping us connected.

Amie

Alicia_Marie's picture

A driving vision

Amie,

Working against censorship, and against others telling you what to say and even worse, what to think, is always a tough challenge. I really hope that you are able to find the tools to find a way around the limits that have been set on you. Women really do have so much to say, and if you have your way, maybe someday you'll see less censorship in your own national discourse. Good luck, and keep up the spirit!

Alicia

amiesissoho's picture

Finding the tools

Dear Alicia,

Lack of tools is limiting us. There are many ways to say the same thing! Thanks for taking time to read the article.

Amie

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