Women’s voices silenced

Michelle Nic Phaidin

Reporter:

Michelle Nic Phaidin

One local activist has deemed the removal of “The Red Room” from Highland Radio’s schedule as a penalisation of women at local level. The programme which seen women discussing topical current affairs is understood to be axed from the schedule due to budget constraints.

One local activist has deemed the removal of “The Red Room” from Highland Radio’s schedule as a penalisation of women at local level. The programme which seen women discussing topical current affairs is understood to be axed from the schedule due to budget constraints.

Betty Holmes the chairperson of Donegal Action for Cancer Care (DACC) and a regular contributor to the show this week said she was exceptionally disappointed to hear that the one hour show was gone.

She said: “The reality is that the “Red Room” is a priceless place to be. The programme is a major loss to the women of Donegal. That was the only hour a week that was dedicated to women. It takes away the opportunity to discuss key and relevant issues that affect the lives of people in Donegal away. Isolated women in rural areas of this county would have greatly benefited from it.”

She added that she was always surprised at the number of men who tuned into it. “It was a very valuable opportunity to both men and women. There was always a mixture of serious of issues being discussed with an element of fun. It was an invaluable hour of broadcasting,” she said.

This week, panellists from across the county received a note thanking them for their contributions from programme organisers. The show was expertly produced by Caroline Orr.

Well known author and presenter Lisa Burkitt said: “It was a great opportunity to give a platform to bright, opinionated, contrary, entertaining and intelligent women and we will miss their fusion.”

Lisa is working on her second novel at the moment and many of her fans will be delighted to hear that her first novel “The memory of scent” is due to be published in 2012.

Former Mayor, Sinn Féin’s Cora Harvey said that she was very disappointed to hear that the show was no longer being aired. “When I got the e-mail, I was very disappointed for everyone, the presenter, producer and all those panellists who contributed to it. The Red Room presented women with the perfect forum to get their voices heard. We always talk about having more women in public life and this programme was the perfect forum for them. I would hope that it wouldn’t be gone for the long term and that it will be brought back to Highland Radio soon.”