An English, Fijian and Hindustani radio campaign on the 5 stations of the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited and supported by the International Women's Development Agency will be the start of a public information campaign to promote the key aspects of this ground-breaking security council resolution.
The radio series is the first in a number of pilot activities following the June 2006 Gender, Conflict, Peace and Security workshop organized by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat which enabled a few Pacific Island women's NGOs working to identify actions for increasing awareness about “1325” within the government and civil society sector.
In 2007 femLINKPACIFIC will also be conducting a training programme including policy encounter, for a group of women who we hope will become the core members of our Fiji NGO Working Group on UNSCR 1325, while also developing a Training of Trainers manual. One of the first tasks of the Fiji NGO working group will be to localize the security council resolution and to make this available to women across Fiji.
This femLINKPACIFIC 1325 radio campaign is inspired very much by the “1325” radio initiatives of the International Women's Tribune Centre (our mother-ship based in New York) and we are looking forward to also assisting partner organisations in other Pacific Island countries develop similar campaigns.
Meanwhile, Mavic Cabrera Balleza of IWTC reports that they recently coordinated a media advocacy workshop in Nairobi, Kenya for women peacebuilders in the Great Lakes region in partnership with Isis WICCE of Uganda: “ We brought women peace builders and media practitioners together to develop national media strategies on Resolution 1325 and to a dialogue to establish a supportive relationship between the media and women activists,” said Cabrera-Balleza who is also the Vice President (Women's International Network) of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC),
“I would like to emphasize that all of the participants pointed out to radio (especially community radio) as the most important medium for peacebuilding. They have produced radio spots in French and English (and hopefully Swahili too) which IWTC in partnership with FIRE will develop into full productions. These will be launched and broadcast across the region and on the Internet during the 6th anniversary of Resolution 1325 in October.”
New Investment in Women's Regional Media Initiative will support the promotion of 1325 in the Pacific Island Region: AUSAID, through its Humanitarian and Emergencies Section in Canberra will be providing funding for femLINKPACIFIC to revive our regional media initiatives to support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.
This regional media initiative builds on the initial femTALK 1325 regional publication, one of the few non-profit women's media publications in the Pacific, initially supported by UNIFEM Pacific (2003-5). Through support from UNIFEM, femLINKPACIFIC was able to undertake documentation of women's peace initiatives in Bougainville in 2004 and 2005, including coverage of women's participation in the first elections for the Autonomous Bougainville Government in partnership with the Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency.
UNIFEM Pacific further supported an initial partnership between femLINKPACIFIC and Vois Blong Mere Solomons, which gave rise to women's media collaborations, including the coverage of women's participation in this year's Solomon Islands national elections.
While contributing to strengthening these networks, this new project, will also enable the development of new networks between femLINKPACIFIC and counterparts in Vanuatu as well as Tonga.Regional media correspondents will be recruited and resourced in each country. They will be responsible for supporting the work of women peacebuilders, in particular, through documentation and the production of stories for the “all-new” femTALK 1325.
This project will also support the development of femLINKPACIFIC's website, which we look forward to being an important platform for information of women's contributions to regional peace and security.
The Suva Peace Vigil will commemorate “1325” with a vigil on Tuesday October 31st from 1pm at the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral.