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Children to go on air on ‘Girls are, Boys are’

International Children's Day of Broadcasting 2011
TV and radio broadcasters come together to help children explore their gender roles in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, 4 March 2011 – This weekend, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the International Children's Day of Broadcasting, children and young people across the country will be speaking up on TV and radio on a topic that is at the very core of their identity: what is means to be a girl or a boy.

On Saturday and Sunday, 12 broadcasters will be giving children and young people airtime to express their views on what it is to grow up as a girl or boy in Malaysia, their experiences, their triumphs and setbacks because of their gender, and encouraging their peers to talk about the same issues.

“This year's theme ‘Girls are... Boys are...’ is something that is very relevant for children and young people across the world,” said UNICEF Representative to Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei Mr. Hans Olsen. “This is perhaps especially the case in a fast changing society like in Malaysia where traditional perceptions of gender roles are being challenged with the growing visible involvement of women in all aspects of society - from education to politics, from engineering to business.”

New partnership

For the first time in the ICDB’s history in Malaysia, UNICEF has partnered with the Malaysian Children TV Programme Foundation (MCTF) to reach out and encourage broadcasters to keep up the country’s strong participation in the ICDB. In 2010, Malaysia swept both the ICDB Asia Pacific Regional Awards, with TV3 taking the prize for television while TraxxFM won the radio award for the second consecutive year.

MCTF Chairman, Mr Sabri Rahman believes that "opportunities must be given to children to voice their opinions and feelings about topics that impact on their lives. This is in line with Article 15 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 to which Malaysia is a signatory. All adults need to do is to take time to listen to the voices of children. We are pleased to partner with UNICEF to celebrate International Children's Day of Broadcasting with broadcasters and children."

This year’s participating broadcasters are RTM 2, Asyik FM, Traxx FM, Muzik FM, Ai FM, Fly FM, Hot FM, BFM, Minnal FM, TV3, ntv7, and Radio Putra.

Discovering children’s views

MCTF and UNICEF welcome the participation of Asyik FM. For the first time, Orang Asli children will have a chance to speak up during special program on Sunday at 3.30 pm. Focussing on the impact of gender on their future, the program will be in Bahasa Suku Temuan and reach out to the children in 18 tribes in Peninsula Malaysia. “We want to hear the voices of the Orang Asli children. We see a lot of pictures or videos of them, but rarely hear from them about their hopes and dreams, and what they want for their communities,” said program producer, En. Hardy Zakaria B. Kassim.

Also participating for the first time is Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM). They will be using the institution’s radio network to engage its students on the issue. RTM 2’s mandarin talkshow ‘What Say You?’ have made a change to their usual guests, and invited 3 youth to air their views and speak of their experiences. The talkshow also took an additional step of considering what their special guests wanted to say while planning their program.

“The International Children's Day of Broadcasting provides a platform for children and young people to express their opinions, give their perspectives and tell their stories. There is of course no definite answer to what it means to be a girl or boy,” added Mr. Olsen. “It is hoped that the children and young people listening will take inspiration from their peers on air and express themselves, and that adults will also listen to what children have to say about their lives and communities.”

Tune in to children this Sunday, 6 March 2011 to celebrate and honour their right to be heard.



International Children's Day of Broadcasting
International Children's Day of Broadcasting was created in 1991 to encourage broadcasters to allow children to be part of the programming process, to talk about their hopes and dreams, and share information with peers. The ICDB Award is given annually to television and radio broadcasters who offer the best programming on the year's ICDB theme, involve young people in the production and presentation of TV/Radio programmes, and show a commitment to highlighting youth voices year-round.

Malaysian Children TV Programme Foundation
MCTF is a non-profit organisation founded in 2004 to advocate for quality local children’s programming within the framework of ethical standards and child rights. In 2008, MCTF initiated the establishment of a 24-hour helpline for children. 15999 Childline was launched on 13 November 2010, bringing together government, NGOs, and private sector organisations and providing children with information, care and protection via the telephone. MCTF aims to reach out to all children in Malaysia via all communication channels, including print, broadcast and social media.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Wong
Malaysian Children TV Programme Foundation
Tel +6017 770 7189,

Indra Kumari Nadchatram
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel +6012 292 6872,





ICDB 2011

ICDB 2011 Partner

Right to be Heard

Beyond the stereotypes

Publication: Child Participation


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