It is only fair and fitting that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is chosen as the province to launch a radio programme for the advocacy of gender rights and stirring insightful discussions about gender-based violence. The K-P Commission on the Status of Women is embarking on a series of programmes on women-based themes in a bid to educate community about the role and mandate of the commission and advocate for women’s rights by discussing violence against the gender, particularly girls, child marriages and honour killings. The programmes will be aired every week on Radio Pakistan and FM-101. In a bid to provide listeners cushions against sensitivities and enable them to speak freely and without hesitation and bottling things inside. Fear indeed is a destructive force and causes us to buckle and settle for less than what we richly deserve.
As a forum, radio offers women a listening post that does not condemn, prematurely judge or block out endlessly. Such a room has long been sought by the province’s women to share their inner thoughts and feelings and hear other voices and opinions. Sometimes they wish to be comforted, sometimes the woman sharing her experiences just wants to know how normal it is to feel that way.
The spirit of camaraderie is essential to the human experience. It is also difficult to understand where to turn if you wanted to change things; women’s organisations existed largely as chapters within already established groups. They were permitted an interest in two topics: health and education. So it was even unheard of broaching sensitive subjects like gender violence. Getting people to open up and share with others is often the hardest part. The government can help ease the nervousness felt by people. True real-life accounts of gender equality work can create fresh understanding about what women can or cannot do in public life. So long as women realise their own potential, the sky will be the limit.
The Express Tribune