The project Valley Voices – Enhancing political participation of women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ex-FATA provinces through local media engagement is a continuation of our programming which started in 2020.
Its overall goal is to break with prevalent social conventions and hierarchical structures in order to support women with little to no access to formal education to be an active part of public life.
Together with our local partner, the Tribal News Network (TNN), we aim to empower women in the newsroom as editors and managers as well as in the field as citizen reporters. TNN has promoted women into managerial positions and has built a network of over 35 citizen reporters, 16 are women.
We hope that women will feel empowered to pursue careers in media which will inspire young women to follow in their footsteps
In 2020, we have seen that content tailored to women has not only increased TNN’s listenership, mainly female news consumers in Mardan district, but has led to a 24% increase in revenue from commercial activities.
Four new programmes were developed and went on air including the radio show "Da Mermano Ghag" - Women’s voices, which depicts and discusses social issues from a woman’s point of view. The show has been very well received by both men and women encouraging listeners to participate through call-ins or comments.
This year’s focus will be on the production of audiovisual content. We believe that video content produced by women for women but not exclusively will form an essential part in educating women about their rights in a democratic society. Over time, with women journalists becoming more visible in the media and hence civil society and by helping women to understand their rights as citizens we anticipate their political participation is likely to increase.
Besides Thomson’s experts, the project will heavily rely on knowledge and lessons learnt from local experts and mentors who will share their experiences with video content and how to monetise it.
Like in 2020, we hope that this programme will encourage the participating reporters to build their careers in media and offer the inspiration to others to follow in their footsteps.
TNN has been at the forefront of empowering women in media in a region where positions in journalism so far have been reserved only for men. The organisation broke with that tradition when installing the first ever female reporters from Khyber, Waziristan, and Kurram districts in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan, as well as the first ever transgender host on radio in Khyber Paktunkhwa (KP) province.