Palmira Velasco, Mozambique

Palmira led the creation of Mozambique’s first – and only – women’s community radio station, N’thiyana (women), active from 1999 to 2016. The station was initiated by the Mozambican Media Women’s Association AMCS, for which Palmira was the Executive Director for 12 years.

Women on the Global Community Airwaves

Women on the global community airwaves is a podcast series bringing you stories told by women around the world working to strengthen women’s voices on airwaves within their own community media. The stories are brought to you by me, Birgitte Jallov, who have worked with these issues for a lifetime. The women tell about why it is so important that women get a voice and what it means for the producers, the listeners and the community contributing. Much more here →

Palmira Velasco is a senior journalist, who has been at the forefront of democratic journalism in Mozambique, where she in 1987 started as a reporter at the big, state-run daily newspaper Notícias. With the peace accord signed in 1992, after am 18 year war, intercepted by a few free years of socialism,

Palmira in 1994 joined a group of journalists that started DEMOS, the first independent weekly. This stood on the shoulders of a 1991 new press law, approved by government after the new democratic constitution (1990) and a year before the final signature to peace. This is how central a free media was to the standard bearers of the new Mozambique.

Palmira become a senior reporter in Demos, and an editor, where she had the opportunity to travel the region and  he world widely. During this time she co-initiated the Mozambican Women in Mass Media Association (AMCS) of which she was the executive director for 12 years.

It was as an initiative of AMCS that Palmira co-initiated Mozambique’s first women’s radio: N’thiyana, meaning ‘Women’ in Emacua, one of the 132 languages in Mozambique, mostly spoken in one of the most populous provinces of Nampula. As a Community Radio Director Palmira was one of the driving forces in N’thiyana, and in the podcast she explains why a women’s radio was important and what some of the major challenges were.

Since June 2016, Palmira works as a Programme Officer in Natural Resources and Gender section of the civil society based organisation: SKELEKANI. She focuses on research on Gender and the impact of extraction in the communities affected by the impact of extractive industry. Palmira continues to use her journalistic past when she writes stories about the struggling communities – children and women – published in different Magazines in Mozambique and at SEKELEKANI’s sites

Palmira engaging children and youth from the communities taking part in the listening groups around Radio N'thiyana (private photo)
Palmira leading one of the many workshops for community radio around Maputo, to secure gender-sensitive reporting (Private photo)
Broadcaster from Radio Muthiana near Maputo in Mozambique
Palmira's daugther producing one of N'thyiana's youth programmes, when the station was still on air (Private photo)
(Private photo)
Palmira, working with women and children in the extractive regions of Mozambique, presently.
(Private photo)