Today, there is so much excitement about the new and novel technologies:
Mobile phone apps, social media, etc. etc. But high-tech can also lead
to exclusion. Poor women, women in rural areas, and many other women
simply don't have access to the technology that might allow them to
interface with the global current of digital information. Something
that, as an American woman, I take for granted.
It's easy for some of us to forget that often times low-tech methods of
communication can have a much greater reach and impact than the "sexy"
high-tech communications methods of the digital era.
Community radio is an excellent case in point. Community radio is
accessible to far more people; the technology needed to "tune in" is far
more cost-effective and widely available to women than a 3G iPhone or
laptop computer with broadband. It can be a direct link for women to
share information with their sisters in their own communities, but also
help them build a bridge to connect with women enduring the same
struggles in other communities.
I've noticed several fascinating news stories and case studies
illustrating just this point. Check out IPS GenderWire, for instance.
They have run a number of stories in recent months (including the one
linked below) that highlight the critical role that something as simple
as radio is playing in the lives of women who are struggling to survive
against some rather daunting challenges.
My advice to NGOs looking to make a serious impact in the lives of women: Invest in a radio.