Almost one century after the first radio station was launched in Mexico, the first all-woman radio station will premiere in March next year in the capital.
“We wish to build an alternative for women in this city, providing information about their rights," said Lucia Lagunes, one of Violeta Radio's founders to IPS, highlighting the lack of space "where women would not just be the object of information but also agents of its construction.”
About one year ago, a group of feminist journalists decided to resort to a 2013 constitutional norm passed in Congress in order to request authorities the allocation of a frequency for an all-woman radio.
The constitutional norm meant to grant 10 percent of the country's FM band to “community and indigenous media”; last August, the Federal Institute of Communications accepted to allocate them the frequency 106.1 for a period of 15 years for “social and community use only, with no lucrative ends.”
“Gender violence is at the heart of the media narrative (…) in songs, adverts, news, programs, there is a huge resort to the sexualization of women, they represent powerless women and the media influences mentalities and representations of women in society,” added Lagunes.
She explained that the radio station will prove the possibility of “entertaining and informing without having to discriminate.”
The radio will be broadcast to the 21 million inhabitants living in Mexico City and the content will focus on gender issues, with programs dedicated to news and entertainment for all ages.
Radio Violeta follows the step of a feminine — yet not feminist — radio station Radio Feminina, founded in 1952 by a man, Luis Martinez Vertiz, with an only-women staff. The initiative ended in 1959.
The initiative is particularly brave in a country that records one of the highest rates in the world of femicides and homicides of journalists.
Since the beginning of 2017, there have already been over 130 cases of femicide in the State of Mexico, which has the highest number of femicides in the country.
Feminist groups have repeatedly criticized Peña Nieto for failing to address the problem of gender violence in the country. In Mexico, like in much of the region, victims of femicide are often made invisible in a broader context of drug war violence and widespread corruption.