Addressing Women's Rights On the Air

Apr 1, 2011 11:49 AM ET

Corazon de Mujer narrates the story of three generations of women as they seek to change the reality of their circumstances.  The storyline touches on the fibers of the audiences’ daily life and brings listeners close to the daily struggles of Chiapas women. Complementary talk shows provide audience members with critical information and the encouragement to face challenges and move forward.
The radio drama series weaves educational content into the entertaining drama to raise awareness about a host of issues pertaining to the social and economic status of women in Chiapas. Issues like domestic violence, adult literacy, teenage pregnancy, sexual and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS.  In addition, portions of the drama are dedicated to raising awareness of new laws and state services that are designed to support the welfare of the family and promote the empowerment of women.

The project, produced by a coalition of more than 15 partners including PCI-Media Impact, is part of a State Government of Chiapas campaign to train local radio and television broadcast professionals in Entertainment-Education methodology and social change communications strategies to mobilize individual and community transformation through storytelling and effective media delivery.  Below is a reflection sent by a listener, María Candelaria Gómez Morales, upon hearing the first episode of the drama.  

  It’s a pleasure and joy that they have created the radio drama “The Heart of a Woman,” a space where different life situations of Chiapan women are analyzed. The theme addressed on Tuesday, March 15th clearly reflects some of the experiences of indigenous women.  I agree that this situation should be addressed to create better life circumstances.   Upon hearing the radio drama, I was transported to the Highlands of Chiapas, specifically the municipality of Chamula, and it reminded me of the the practice that used to happen in my Zoque community. From what I can remember, before when a young man wanted to start a family, he asked his parents to go with him to look for the community elder to ask for a wife. They made several visits until the girls’ parents accepted a visit. Later, they formalized the relationship when they brought the dowry of bread, chocolate, food, aguardiente (an alcohol) as a thank you for having been accepted into the family. Several visits were made until the date of the wedding was set. The dowry wasn’t perceived as buy-and-sell, but as a thank you. The food given to the fiancee’s family was shared among the closet relatives and friends. Whoever received part of the dowry knew they had to attend the wedding, as they had to bring gifts (kitchen utensils, work tools).  Anything that the future couple could need. I don’t want to say that the rights of the woman were violated, but the majority of young women were between 14 and 18-years-old, and usually the woman had to accept her suitor without having met him becaue she believed if she didn’t accept him, no one else would come to ask for her hand.    

PCI-Media Impact empowers communities worldwide to inspire enduring change through creative storytelling. 
For 25 years, we have worked with local partners to produce programs that address the most pressing social and environmental issues. Using our unique My Community methodology, we engage and empower audiences around the world to improve their own lives. Working with local partners, we change the world one story at a time. For more information, please visit: