Notes to broadcasters
How to use this resource and where to find the right experts to interview
These questions are designed to help broadcasters conduct interviews with sexual and reproductive health experts. You might find experts like these working for organizations that specialize in rights, or medical services for sexual and reproductive health including STI testing clinics, family planning, contraceptives, and more.
You might also find the expert you need at local women’s rights organizations, or in the local offices of international organizations such as Marie Stopes International, Plan International, and Girl Effect, or government ministries.
How to select and prepare your interviewee(s)
When selecting interviewee(s), be sure to give them a preview of the questions you will ask to ensure that they have the right knowledge for your interview. Keep in mind that you may need more than one interviewee to respond to all of the following questions.
During the interview, if an expert provides a statistic or make claims about science, remember to ask them for the source of that information. When preparing for your interview, encourage your interviewee(s) to prepare this information in advance.
How to limit the scope of your interview
When planning your interview, pick three to five of the numbered themes to discuss with your interviewee(s). Ask some or all of the follow-up questions to explore the themes thoroughly and give your audience diverse perspectives. Limiting the scope of the interview will also ensure that neither your listeners nor your guests get overloaded with information and stop paying attention. If you want to cover more details about this topic,
arrange a series of interviews with one guest or with others who can speak on the issue.
How to conduct a great interview
Remember that good interviews are based on active listening and good follow-up questions. Use these questions as a guide to your discussion but be flexible enough to follow the discussion where it leads.
Do not reinforce stereotypes about gender or sex
Be careful not to say things that might reinforce stereotypes about gender or sex, and try not to make comments about whether you think something is morally right or wrong.
Instead, model for listeners how to respect people with different opinions and experiences than your own. Also model to your listeners that we should listen to experts about facts and scientific information.
Encourage the interviewee(s) to focus on their technical knowledge and scientific information since their role is to provide objective expertise. In your questions and responses, help interviewee(s) avoid making moral judgements based in their own opinions or values. You can even discuss this with the interviewee(s) as you speak with them to prepare the interview.
Use your interview to dispel myths and misinformation
Important doubts, concerns, and fears could be brought up during these discussions. Be sure to invite an expert to speak later in the interview to help address and dispel these, as well as myths or rumours that are prominent in your community.
Explain technical or scientific terms
The information that comes up during your discussion about sexual and reproductive health and rights might be technical or scientific. Always ask your interviewee(s) to explain technical concepts in clear and simple terms that any listener can understand. If any guest uses a complicated or technical term, ask them to explain it—even if you understand, your listeners may not.
Raise awareness about services in your community
Finally, you can use this interview as an opportunity to raise awareness about the different sexual and reproductive health services available in your community including clinics, hotlines, community organizations, and more. You can also help your listeners learn about their sexual and reproductive health rights. Be sure to do your research on these topics in advance of your interview so that you can share this information with your listeners on air.
1. What is sexual and reproductive health?
a. Do you feel that the average adult man or woman knows enough about their body, and their sexual and reproductive health? Please explain.
b. Do you feel that the average adolescent or young women or man knows enough about their body and their sexual and reproductive health? Please explain.
2. What rights exist regarding sexual and reproductive health in Mali?
a. Are there differences between the rights for adult men and those that exist for adult women?
b. Are there differences between the way that adult men and women are able to enjoy and exercise their sexual and reproductive health rights? Please explain.
b.i. If so, what needs to be done so that men and women can enjoy their sexual and reproductive health rights equally?
c. Is the situation different for adolescents and young women and men? If so, how?
3. What are some key topics within sexual and reproductive health? (E.g., menstruation, pregnancy, safer sex, etc.)
a. Are there taboos or stigma around these topics? Please explain.
a.i. What is the origin of these taboos or stigma?
a.ii. In your opinion, what needs to change so that people in your community feel they can talk about these topics openly, freely, and without shame or stigma?
4. What role does sexual and reproductive health play in overall health and well-being?
a. Can sexual and reproductive health problems seriously affect overall health? Please explain.
5. What steps can men and women take to care for their sexual and reproductive health?
6. How can men and women practice safer sex?
7. What are the different kinds of sexual and reproductive health services offered in Mali?
a. Are there differences between the services available to men and the services available to women? What about the services offered to youth?
b. Do these services encourage good sexual and reproductive health? If so, how?
8. As a professional in this field, do you think that the services provided for sexual and reproductive health are adequate? Please explain.
a. What are the challenges and barriers to providing these services?
b. Is it easier for men or easier for women to access these services? Please explain.
c. What barriers do men face when trying to access these services?
d. What barriers do women face when trying to access these services?
e. Do sexual and reproductive health services need to be improved? If so, what are the problems?
i. How can sexual and reproductive health services be improved?
ii. Would these improvements help both women and men? Youth?
10. What are some of the risks related to sexual and reproductive health?
a. Are these risks different for people of different ages or genders? Please explain.
b. What factors increase the risk of sexual and reproductive health problems?
c. How can men and women manage these risks?
11. What is contraception?
a. How does contraception relate to sexual and reproductive health?
b. What are the different methods of contraception?
c. What are the benefits of each of these contraceptive methods?
d. What are the risks associated with each of the methods?
e. What are some common myths and misinformation about the different methods of contraception?
e.i. What is your response to this misinformation?
12. What is your opinion of sex education in Mali?
a. What is your opinion of sex education in your community?
b. Do youth get the information they need about sexual and reproductive health and rights in school?
b.i. If not, what problems does this cause for youth in your community?
c. Other than in school, where and how do young women and men currently learn about their bodies and their sexual and reproductive health and rights?
d. What changes need to happen in Mali in order for men and women, including youth and older people, to learn about their body and their rights, and make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health?
e. Where can men and women learn about their sexual and reproductive health and rights?
13. How can listeners recognize false rumours about sexual and reproductive health?
a. What is the best way to counter false rumours about sexual and reproductive health, including the supposed negative impacts of specific contraceptive methods?
14. What is the best way to communicate with those who think that young people should not be taught about their bodies and about sex or be able to access sexual and reproductive services?
15. What would you say to men, women, and youth who are nervous, fearful, shameful, or doubtful about accessing sexual and reproductive health services?
Contributed by: Aly Maiga, journalist, Mali.
Reviewed by: Gina Vukojević, Team Lead, Gender Equality and Inclusion, Farm Radio International, and Tinatswe Mhaka, Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) Officer, Farm Radio International.
This resource was produced through the “HÉRÈ – Women’s Well-Being in Mali” initiative, which aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health well-being of women and girls and to strengthen the prevention of and response to gender-based violence in Sikasso, Ségou, Mopti, and the district of Bamako in Mali. The project is implemented by the HÉRÈ – MSI Mali Consortium, in partnership with Farm Radio International (RRI) and Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) with funding from Global Affairs Canada.