Notes to broadcasters
How to use this resource
The first set of questions in this resource is designed to help broadcasters conduct interviews with women and men who have experienced gender-based violence, or GBV. Some interviewees may prefer to remain anonymous (unidentified) while speaking about this topic. So, remember to ask interviewees whether or not they want to remain anonymous and respect their preference. Keep in mind that you may need more than one
interviewee to respond to all of the questions below. It is suggested that you interview at least one man and one woman.
The second set of questions is designed to help broadcasters conduct interviews with experts who work with community-based or national organizations that provide survivors with protection, training, legal knowledge, and support services (psychological, social, and physical).
Such organizations include women’s groups, local youth associations, UN Women, and advocacy groups for women and girls. Experts may also work in local ministries and deal directly with women and the family. 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 are well-prepared for your interview. Keep in mind that you may need more than one interviewee to respond to all the questions.
If an expert provides a statistic or makes scientific claims during the interview, 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 main questions to discuss with your interviewee(s). Then ask some or all of the follow-up questions to explore the themes thoroughly and give your audience a wider range of perspectives. Limiting the scope of the interview also ensures that neither your listeners nor your guests become overloaded with information and stop paying attention. If you want to cover more details about the 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. Active listening means being attentive to what someone is saying in order to understand the feelings and views of the person. Active listening allows you to ask effective follow-up questions and allows the interviewee to feel heard and understood. Use the questions in this resource 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 anything that might reinforce stereotypes about gender or sex, and don’t 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 expert 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 on their own opinions or values. You can even discuss this with the interviewee(s) when you speak with them to prepare the interview.
Be sensitive to the experiences of the interviewee(s)
Remember that a conversation with the media can be therapeutic or traumatic for some interviewees. For many, discussing trauma will be difficult and painful. For tips on interviewing people who have survived traumatic events, read this article from the Global Investigative Journalism Network, or read Farm Radio’s Broadcaster how-to guide on dealing with sensitive issues on air.
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 program to help address and dispel these, as well as any myths or rumours that are prominent in your community.
Explain technical or scientific terms
The information that is shared during your discussion about sexual and reproductive health and rights might be technical or scientific. Always ask your expert 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.
Adapt the questions to your country or region
Some of these questions are specific to Mali, but all questions can be adapted for any country. Contact local organizations that deal with gender-based violence in order to get the most relevant up-to-date information for your country or region. Raise awareness about services in your community. Finally, you can use interviews about gender-based violence 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 research
these topics in advance of your interview so that you can share this information with your listeners on air.
Questions for women survivors of gender-based violence
1. I understand that you have experienced gender-based violence. Thank you for being here to share your experiences today. How did it start?
a. What was the nature of the violence?
b. How long did it last?
c. How did you feel at the time?
2. What did you do after your experience of gender-based violence?
a. Did you approach any support services? If so, which ones? If not, why not?
a.i. What was your experience of using these services?
a.ii. Was it easy or difficult to access and use these services? Please explain.
a.iii. Did you experience any stigma when seeking or using these services? In other words, did people exclude, insult, or otherwise disapprove of you because you sought or used services?
a.iv. What would make it easier for you to access and use these services?
b. Some survivors of gender-based violence don’t feel able to report the perpetrator of the violence. Did you report the perpetrator? Why or why not?
b.i. If yes, can you describe this process?
b.ii. Did you receive any support or guidance during this process from family, friends or local services?
b.iii. How did you feel at the time?
b.iv. What made this process easy or difficult for you? Please explain. Did you experience any stigma during the process of reporting the perpetrator? In other words, did people exclude, insult, or otherwise disapprove of you because you reported the perpetrator?
b.v. What would have made it easier for you to report this violence?
3. Were you able to escape the abusive situation?
a. If so, how did you go about that?
b. What difficulties did you face when trying to escape the situation? Please explain.
c. Did you receive any support or guidance during this process from family, friends, or local services?
d. Did you experience any stigma because of your decision to separate yourself from the perpetrator? In other words, did people exclude, insult, or otherwise disapprove of you because you did so?
e. How are you doing now following this experience, mentally, physically and emotionally?
4. What impact did these experiences have on your life?
a. If you have children, how have they been affected?
b. What are you doing in your life now to continue to heal from your experiences?
5. What do you want men and women in your community to know about gender-based violence?
a. What do you want men and women in your community to know about supporting and respecting survivors of gender-based violence?
6. What would you tell other women who are going through a similar situation in their lives right now?
7. What do you feel needs to be done in your community to reduce and eliminate gender-based violence and to support survivors?
Suggested questions for experts and women’s rights organizations
1. What is gender-based violence?
a. What are the different types of gender-based violence?
b. What are the most common types of gender-based violence?
c. Are men and women equally affected by gender-based violence? Please explain.
d. Are youth and adults equally affected by gender-based violence? Please explain.
e. How are other marginalized groups, including people living with disabilities, affected by gender-based violence?
2. Do you have statistics on the number of cases of gender-based violence in Mali every year?
a. Are all cases of gender-based violence reported? If not, why not?
b. What are the risks for survivors who report or try to report cases of gender-based violence?
c. What changes need to be made in Mali to make it easier and safer for women to report gender-based violence?
d. We see that a lot of gender-based violence takes place within married couples. Yet many women find it difficult to leave their husbands, even if they experience violence in the relationship. What makes it difficult for women to leave these violent relationships?
3. What are the causes of gender-based violence in Mali?
a. What are the most common causes of gender-based violence in Mali?
b. Why is it that the majority of gender-based violence is perpetrated by men?
4. What are the most common myths and misconceptions about gender-based violence?
a. What is your response to these myths and misconceptions?
5. What are organizations in this area doing to help and support survivors of gender-based violence?
a. Please list some of these organizations and the type of support women can receive at each one.
b. Are these organizations successful in reducing or otherwise preventing gender-based violence? Please explain.
c. Are these organizations successful in helping and supporting survivors of gender-based violence? Please explain.
d. How easy or difficult is it for women to access and use these services? Please explain.
e. Are women stigmatized when they seek or use these services? Please explain.
f. What changes should be made to make it easier for women to access and use these services?
6. Has the government taken steps, including enacting laws, to prevent or punish acts of gender-based violence?
a. If so, what steps?
b. What makes it difficult to enforce laws against gender-based violence?
c. In Mali, how much influence do social and religious leaders have on the enforcement of laws?
d. What more can be done to reduce or prevent gender-based violence and to support survivors of gender-based violence?
i. What role can the law play?
ii. What role can communities, friends, and families play, especially in the education of young boys?
iii. What role can local leaders, religious leaders, and other role models play?
iv. What role can the media play?
v. What role can men play?
7. What are the consequences of gender-based violence?
a. What are the physical, mental, and emotional consequences for the survivor?
b. What are the possible effects on children?
c. What is the impact on society in general?
8. Do women who experience gender-based violence face stigma from friends, family, and society? Please explain.
a. What can be done to reduce this stigma?
Contributed by: Cheick Coulibaly, journalist-teacher, Maarif foundation, fraternity production, Bamako, Mali.
Reviewed by: Tinatswe Mhaka, Gender Equality and Inclusion Officer, Farm Radio International and Gina Vukojević, Team Lead, Gender Equality and Inclusion, Farm Radio International.
This resource was produced through the “HÉRÈ – Bien-être des femmes au Mali” initiative, which aims to improve the well-being of women and girls in terms of sexual and reproductive health and to strengthen the prevention of and response to gender-based violence in the regions of Sikasso, Ségou, Mopti, and the district of Bamako, Mali. The project is implemented by the HÉRÈ – MSI Mali Consortium, in partnership with Farm Radio International (FRI) and Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF) with funding from Global Affairs Canada.