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The Conversation

Podcast The Conversation
Podcast The Conversation

The Conversation


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  • Women at the negotiating table
    Women play a crucial role in peace building processes around the world, but their role is rarely recognised. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who build bridges between communities at war with each other. Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer led the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. In 2014 she made history by becoming the first woman chief negotiator to sign a major peace accord with an armed group. She taught political science at the University of the Philippines and works on mediation initiatives with different international organisations. Ameya Kilara is a lawyer and mediator from India whose work focuses on facilitating dialogue across the Line of Control in Kashmir. She’s currently working with the NGO Inter Mediate and is the Founder and Director of the South Asian Leadership Initiative, a programme dedicated to building peace in the region. She’s also a member of Women Mediators across the Commonwealth, a network supporting women-led peace building initiatives. Produced by Alice Gioia (Image: (L) Ameya Kilara, courtesy of Ameya Kilara. (R) Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, courtesy of Miriam Coronel-Ferrer)
  • Women crossing borders and seeking refuge
    According to the United Nations, at the end of 2021, 89.4 million people around the world had been forced to flee their homes as a result of persecution, conflict, human rights violations or other events. Among them are nearly 27.1 million refugees. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women from Afghanistan and Zimbabwe about having to leave their country. Hajira Zaman is 29 years old and left Afghanistan in November 2021. She’d been working in a dentist’s clinic when the Taliban entered the clinic and told her she couldn’t work with a male doctor – unless she took her husband, brother or father with her. After threats from the Taliban she, her husband and young son fled the country. Hajira was nine months pregnant and had her baby shortly after arriving in Pakistan. Nyasha Masi is a refugee from Zimbabwe living in Cape Town. She was abused by her family for being gay and forced into marriage. She made the devastating decision to leave without her three year old daughter and escaped to South Africa. She now works with the charity Safe Place International and has set up her own group for LGBTI+ refugees called Pachedu. Her daughter (now a teenager) has joined her. Produced by Jane Thurlow (Image: (L) Nyasha Masi, courtesy Nyasha Masi. (R) Hajira Zaman, courtesy Hajira Zaman.)
  • Leaving my religion
    When doubt creeps in about the faith you’ve grown up in and nobody will tolerate your questions, when you look at your life ahead mapped out by others and wonder where your ambitions fit - how do you step away? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women from Tanzania and Scotland about leaving their religion. Zara Kay grew up in Tanzania in a strict Muslim family. She faced disapproval when she chose not to wear a hijab, for moving abroad to study, and for her career as an IT engineer. But the abuse she received after expressing support for gay marriage exposed such hate in her community that she left the religion. On a recent trip to visit family in Tanzania she was arrested. She now lives in Sweden and works with an online organisation, Faithless Hijabi, supporting other former-Muslims. Ali Millar was raised in a community of Jehovah’s Witness in Scotland - spending Saturdays knocking on doors trying to convert people. As a teenager she struggled with trying to fit in at school and make friends while at the same time obeying the rules of her religion. Married young she wasn't allowed to follow the career she dreamed of. Realising her daughter would face the same restricted life, she walked out on the religion and hasn't seen her mother or sister since. Ali’s book about her experience is called The Last Days. Produced by Jane Thurlow (Image: (L) Zara Kay, credit Andrew Bott Phototherapy. (R) Ali Millar, courtesy Ebury Press.)
  • Searching for missing women
    What would you do if a loved one went missing? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women whose lives have been touched by a missing person’s case, and now help other families find answers. Dr Chung Pham is an anti-trafficking specialist from Vietnam. When she was a teenager, she stopped the initial abduction of a schoolmate, who was later trafficked into China. After relocating to the UK, Chung became an advocate for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, often victims of trafficking or modern slavery. This inspired her to join Locate International, a charity helping relatives of missing people find their loved ones. Dr Michelle Jeanis is an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice department at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research focuses on the best practices to help locate people who disappear and on the media coverage of missing people’s cases. She decided to study this topic after her friend’s sister, Mickey Shunik, disappeared in 2012. Produced by Alice Gioia (Image: (L) Michelle Jeanis, credit Scarlett Davis. (R) Chung Pham, credit Hong Van.)
  • Powered by women: Lineworkers
    Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who bring electricity to communities in the US and New Zealand. Maureen Miller is a listener from Wisconsin in the US who got in touch to tell us why she is so passionate about being a journeyman lineman. She talks about bringing power to communities devastated by hurricanes and floods and she tells us about the skills required to do this extremely dangerous work. Laisa Pickering-Bryant is the first female distribution line mechanic at her company to work on live high voltage lines. She was born and raised on the Fiji Islands and she currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Laisa is also part of Connexis, a project training and mentoring women working in infrastructure. Produced by Alice Gioia (Image: (L) Maureen Miller, credit courtesy of Maureen Miller. (R) Laisa Pickering-Bryant, credit courtesy of Laisa Pickering-Bryant.)

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