Brasilien: Mara Régia di Perna

I am a popular communicator; a woman who enjoys rendering services.

— Mara Régia di Perna

Mara Régia di Perna (1952) is one of the pioneers of radio communication produced for women of popular social classes. She is the creator of many programs that educate, mobilize and entertain. One of them is ‘Natureza Viva’ (Live Nature), which reaches the immensity of the Legal Amazon and foments a network of solidarity and services among female listeners.

Mara Régia has a passion for radio that began when she was six years old. Her grandmother used to ask for total silence when it was time for the radio soap opera. In exchange, she offered them cookies. Mara loved not only the cookies, but also the enchantment of the radio voices. “I am completely fascinated by this form of language; it goes straight to the heart.” As an adult, she used her fascination for radio as a tool for educating, mobilizing and entertaining millions of women in the city and in the forest. “I communicate services. I apprehend, I bring and I multiply information that influences and changes lives.” On her shows, there are valuable tips regarding female health: how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases/Aids, uterus and breast cancers; precautions regarding childbirth, menopause and osteoporosis. She talks about sexual and domestic violence, child education, sexuality and environment. She stimulates women's self-esteem and favors the creation of income sources. “In order to be independent, you need to make your own money.” Her voice reaches places where radio is the predominant mean of communication, and proof of that is the fact that batteries are considered a primary necessity. In the heart of the Amazon, the female coconut breakers (women who gather coconuts and extract essences that are used to produce soaps, oils, etc.), cassava planters, laundresses, artisans and rural women in general tune in to listen to what Mara has to say. The program is highly interactive: she teaches, learns and shares. Women read recipes for medicinal herbs; they warn each other about the traffic conditions on the roads and about the navigation conditions in the rivers. They share their intimacies. They multiply methods of reaching goals. They are people who sometimes speak Portuguese incorrectly, but they think correctly.