When Radio Dange Nwe went on air ten years ago, the idea of community-based radio stations was completely new in Northern Iraq. Today, the radio is an integral part of cultural and political life in the community offering not only regular information and discussions on issues that matter to youth, but also a café as a popular meeting place.
After intensive preparation, the media channel for women and youth opened in Halabja in 2005. The program of Radio Dange New continues to be prepared independently by young Halabjian women and men that have participated in our partner organization WADI’s women empowerment programs before, and are familiar with local problems of youth and women. The radio still provides the region with independent news, music, entertainment and reports about gender and youth specific issues. Themes of the program include: human rights, democracy, domestic violence, partnership, divorce, forced marriages, FGM and “honour killings”. Information is provided about health care, pregnancy, contraception and childcare.
By focusing on women and youth Radio Dange Nwe is able to raise awareness about their daily and often neglected problems. Giving a voice to women, and helping to raise their status in public opinion.
Since February 2016 the Radio is running a special program from and for refugees.
Radio Dange Nwe is one of the few ‘free time’ activities available for Halabja´s youth. The radio’s team and equipment have already enabled another local initiative: the translation and dubbing of films by young people from Halabja.
When in 2011 media activists set up a youth café in the 200 square-meter garden belonging to the venue, Radio Dange Nwe became more than a Radio, it became an actual physical meeting point. The space offers cultural events, literature readings and workshops, and naturally, coffee. Sales proceeds from the small bookstore provide some income for the radio.
Because it operates independently the radio is able to disseminate sensitive information, and discuss otherwise taboo topics. The importance of this outlet cannot be stressed enough.
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Dangue Nwe is part of Amarc