VOICES: Reducing HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women

Unaware of their rights, with little or no access to information, poor education, economic dependence, and living in a society where gender inequality is deeply rooted, women in Nepal remain highly vulnerable to being caught in the cycle of violence against women (VAW) and HIV.

This vulnerability has been further entrenched by the country’s 10 year conflict, which saw women, especially those living in isolated areas, who were exposed to sexual violence, increased economic burden and security vulnerability. According to the UNGASS 2008 country report, 41% of seasonal labor migrants returning home to Nepal are HIV positive, increasing the HIV transmission rate among housewives  and highlighting the inability of many women to negotiate safe sex measures with their partners.

VOICES uses radio as a vehicle for education, creating greater awareness and knowledge among women and men about the linkages between VAW and HIV. This program prompts more women to seek available services and to take collective action to address VAW, HIV, AIDS issues in Nepal.

By linking with grassroots organizations, change will be sustained and will build on the foundations already laid by local groups. To achieve its objective, the project has three strategies:

1. Capacity building

  • Training female community reporters
  • Training of trainers for women leaders in legal literacy
  • Training by women leaders for women, at the community level in legal literacy

2. Outreach and Advocacy

  • Mobilization of peer educators and listener group facilitators to lead post listening discussion groups around the radio content.

3. Raising Awareness

  • Broadcast of 78 episodes of weekly 30-minute Nepali radio program titled Samajhdari (Mutual Understanding) in Nepal and among Nepali migrants in India.
  • Addressing issues connected with HIV and VAW – awareness and stigma reduction.
  • Production of a tailored version of the radio program on audio tapes for distribution among transport workers, medium and long route buses and for use at radio stations and major transit points such as border crossings.
  • Design and provision of 20,000 leaflets to the trained women for use in advocacy at the community level and at migrant transit points.

To learn more about Samajhdari and download episodes, please visit Equal Access Nepal’s Samajhdari page at: http://www.equalaccess.org.np/samajhdari

Success Story

A Listener Connects with the Show’s Character

Media Links

The Press Release announcing Samajhdari’s One World Media Award in the Special Award category [PDF].
Samajhdari, Mutual Understanding, the One World Media Awards video produced by Dylan Howitt
Listen to VOICES (Samajhdari Radio Program) (English version)