The role of community radio in promoting economic empowerment among women in Kenya: a case of Radio Mang'elete in Nthongoni location, Mtito-Andei Division, Makueni County, Kenya
The goal of this study was to explore the potential role of community radio in promoting economic empowerment among women in developing corqmunities and more specifically where men have taken a leading role in the management of society's resources. This inquiry was undertaken through the use of a case study of Mang' elete Community Radio, popularly known as Radio Mang'elete in NthongoniLocation, MtitoAndei Division. The station which is located in a semi-arid area is recognized as the pioneer community radio station in Kenya having been started by a group of women who felt marginalized and therefore needed a tool that could enable them voice issues that were affecting them to the rest of society. It is for this reason that the study sought to inquire if the radio in question has had any significant role in empowering women in Nthongoni Location through its daily programming as attributed in its slogan 'Wasya wa Maendeeo '-Voice of Development. In addition, the study is premised on the idea that, increasing programming content relating to issues that affect women will in tum give them a voice on matters that affect them in their daily community lives. According to this study, the term empowerment will be loosely defined as the ability of one to exercise choice, control or power in his/her life in order to achieve individual equality in society. Empowerment in this case, will be premised on the women's economic power as far as challenging their status quo in the community is concerned. However, the study will also make an effort to understand how the local women define economic empowerment within the context of their location. In order to understand further the role played by the radio in question, the study will also try to gauge if the women are involved in production of information, sharing of information amongst them and their ability to act on information disseminated to themthrough the station's local programmes. The study is guided by the conviction that community participation is a key tenet in the development and existence of community radio world over. Key to this study will be to look' at the economic activities that the target groups engage in and if the station has really spurred them to that direction. To achieve this, the study will make use of both conceptual and theoretical framework in trying to understand the impact of the local station on the target audience and how the locals have used information to develop themselves. Detailed literature review will be conducted in line with the objective of the study. In addition, In-depth interviews and questionnaires will be utilized as the data collection instruments. Lastly, data collected from the field will be analyzed accordingly and a summary of the findings will be presented as a final report of the study. Given the remote setting of Radio Mang' elete, the study is guided by the assumption that the locals have access to Radio Mang' elete and that community radio have the potential of promoting economic development in society.