On 13th February every year, the United Nations and its member countries celebrate radio as a medium to improve international cooperation between broadcasters; and to encourage major networks and community radio alike to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.
The celebration was proclaimed on 3rd November, 2011, at the 36th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris after feasibility studies that indicated that Radio is the mass media reaching the widest audience in the world. It is also recognized as a powerful communication tool and a low cost medium. Radio is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level. Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.
According to UNESCO, Radios are everywhere, with at least 75% of households in developing countries having access to a radio. There are about 44,000 radio stations worldwide.
Radio currently remains the medium that reaches the widest audience worldwide.
This year’s celebration is themed, “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Radio” with emphasies on ;
- Sensitizing radio station owners, executives, journalists, and governments to develop gender-related policies and strategies for radio
- Eliminating stereotypes and promoting multidimensional portrayal in radio
- Building radio skills for youth radio production, with a focus on young women as producers, hosts, reporters
- Promoting Safety of women radio journalists