Welcome to VOSWO Radio: Voice of Somaliland Women!
VOSWO stands for ‘Voice of Somaliland Women’. VOSWO Radio is a Somali-language of periodic news and current affairs radio program produced by WIJA trained radio female journalists in Somaliland in collaboration with Fanzingo, a media centre based in Sweden through support from SI. In Somali words, literally VOSWO Radio means ‘Idaacadda Codka Haweenka Somaliland’.
This Online radio is run by Women in Journalism Association (WIJA) as a part of its young local female Journalism training project in order to provide media platforms to women and other marginalized groups in Somaliland.
VOSWO Radio is first of its kind in Somaliland. It aims to build and shape the skills of female journalists in this country, provide factual and impartial news to the public, as well as to enhance the role of women in the media and increase women’s access to media channels.
Since the country’s male dominated media outlets are political-oriented, VOSWO is different and exist to be a voice of the voiceless. It is focused on social issues and women’s rights in particular. The challenges against women such as socially, politically and economically are among those will emphasized in VOSWO’s programs through feature stories, reportages and radio documentary.
If media are a mirror of society as they should be, they certainly need to reflect better the fact that gender equality is a fundamental human right.
Obviously, media play important roles in society and the social transformation stages.
Gender equality is a human right and a precondition for democracy and freedom of speech. In addition, basic ideas of democracy are not possible without participation by women in exercising of power. Gender equality ensures that girls and boys, women and men, have equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities and the power to shape their own lives and influence society. So, democracy develops when many voices are heard and different perspectives are portrayed in media.
Therefore, to confront the huge gap and gender inequality in the media sector of Somaliland, WIJA in conjunction with its Swedish partners, have initiated to establish small studio that equipped with the necessary equipment, including computers, recorders etc. as women journalists and young female journalism students to have their own media platform with accessible Resource and Training Centre and then produce radio programs and podcast their episodic productions through this Online Radio, since the licensing of private and community radios are not allowed in Somaliland because of a ban imposed by the government, although the Constitution and country’s Press Law are enshrined the freedom of Media and freedom of expression at large.
Apart from that, since 2007, WIJA has been constantly publishing its sister-newspapers namely Almis of monthly newspaper in Somali language and its English version of monthly paper, The Horizon in support from international partners.
WIJA was established in 2006 by some female journalists’ pioneers in Somaliland.
WIJA Vision/Mission statement:
WIJA envisions a future whereby women understand and utilize the magic of media for social development and women empowerment and to see a greater role of women in journalism both in quality and quantity.
WIJA exists to empower women professionalism in journalism and to ensure that women rights, voices and interests are respected and represented in media.