Introducing myself and my journal: Building an Innovative Women's Communication Network in Sierra Leone
Media Matters for Women (MMW), a small NGO based in the U.S., digitally connects West African women and girls so they can share information, learn from each other, entertain each other, hear crucial health messages, give feedback, and join in a network that begins in their village and extends across their country. We signficantly broaden and deepen the conversation among women and girls in West Africa.
MMW was founded in 2010 and has been built by a small group of friends from Africa, Europe, and the U.S. to address the acute information needs of West African women and girls. We are especially interested in those who are living in rural areas, are among the poorest of the region, and are frequently exploited because they don't know their rights or possibilities. It is our view that the only way to bring down staggering the rates of maternal mortality, teenage pregnancy, under-five deaths, female genital mutilation (FGM), and domestic violence is to improve communication for and among women and girls.
Our concept caught the attention of the Oak Foundation in Switzerland which recently decided to fully fund our one-year pilot study in Sierra Leone. The objective of our proof of concept pilot project is to build a market for the local production and distribution of radio content that is focused on women’s issues and is relevant both in Sierra Leone and also more broadly across West Africa. We are very pleased to report that during our first six months of broadcasting we surpassed our goals for broadcast reach, audience appreciation, and program quality.