Women on the air – in Western Europe

When the feminist movement of the 1970s in Western Europe called for more visibility to women[1] in the public, in the culture, in politics and in the workplaces and board-rooms, women also worked to ensure a stronger presence of women in the media, and began making strategic use of radio broadcasting. Women approached this issue on three levels[2]: (i) Researchers worked to identify and document the roles and images of women in the established media; (ii)  Women working in the established media – radio – got to work on improving the number of women working in the media and the contents of women’s programmes,  ensuring presence as experts and sources in general programming, and working on the advancement of women in the hierarchies and power structures to get more women into decision-making positions; and finally (iii) Women in and around the feminist movement created alternative channels – created women’s collectives within mixed pirate and community radio stations; and in a few places all-women community radio stations were created

[1] “Women on the air: community radio as a tool for feminist messages.” By Birgitte Jallov in Jankowski, Prehn and Stappers, The people’s voice: local radio and television in Europe, Academic Research Monograph 6 ( John Libbey 1992)

[2] As quoted from: “Women’s Voices Crossing Frontiers – Twenty years of Women and Community Radio in Europe” By Birgitte Jallov in: Women’s Voices Crossing Frontiers. 1996 Directory of women’s community radio stations and women’s radio production collectives.” in Europe. Published by AMARC Europe, 1996.