The Radio Community in South Sudan joined radio stations around the world in celebrating International Women's Day 2017 on March 8. Teams at Singaita FM, Mingkaman 100 FM and Nhomlaau FM were led by women and it was women who presented news bulletins and programs through the day.
“Journalism is a good career. When you cover a story that affects a community, people tell you that you are the one that let their voice be heard,” says Angelina Achol. She decided she wanted to be a journalist more than ten years ago, and today is the News and Program Editor at Mingkaman 100 FM. It’s a very senior – and rare – position for a woman in South Sudan.
“It wasn't easy in the beginning,” she says, “I faced a lot of challenges because I had to go and talk to government officials and NGOs. I had to attend community events looking for stories and not everyone thought that was a good job for a woman.”
This was a similar challenge facing Losike Everlyne, who is News and Program Editor at Internews South Sudan's newest station in The Radio Community, Singaita FM, in Kapoeta. “As a mother of two daughters, I am advising girls to work hard at school and remember that men and women are equal,” she says. “Making your career a reality is your role; you need to work hard to achieve your dreams. Who told you it is only men who walk out of the house and go to the office? You can do the same as a woman.”
Both Angelina and Losike can see their determination and commitment in their careers is paying off. “The community is very proud of me and others are already taking me as a role model,” says Losike. Angelina agrees. “There are people in Northern Bahr El Ghazal who sent their girls to school because of me. I was in Kampala recently for an Internews training workshop, and I went to visit the relatives of a male colleague. A woman told me she would tell her daughter to look at me and see how education and a career had made me strong.”
“I won an award for my work as a presenter,” says Losike. “I am very proud to be an editor and now I am encouraging other women who are still in doubt that they shouldn't be afraid - they can be editors, too.”
On International Women's Day Losike and Everlyne were joined by their colleagues as they continued to produce and present programs covering critical issues relevant to their communities. The Radio Community will continue to do what it does each and every day - report on the stories that are important to women across South Sudan.
Emma Gilliam is Lead TRC Trainer for Internews in South Sudan. The Radio Community, or TRC, Singaita FM, Mingkaman 100FM, and Nhomlaau FM are supported by the USAID-funded i-STREAM project and implemented by Internews.