Fictional Stories for Real Life Awareness in the Middle East

The use of media as an advocacy tool has become a standard for most populations, though some subgroups are continuously marginalized from contributing their voices to media platforms.

In the Middle East, women are frequently prevented from overtly discussing the daily issues they face in their societies. This occurs due to the negative views towards discussing both personal, and public issues that Arab women face, as well as having a lack of resources that assist in addressing these issues when they are brought up. While there has been some progress in Arab women’s involvement in the public domain, there is still room for progress in creating safe spaces for them to freely discuss matters that require attention.

The Womanity Foundation's “B100 Ragl” (directly translating to Worth 100 Men) an Arabic radio fiction series that is now an animated web series, has a plot line focusing on a female journalist and her experiences with gender inequality. The show’s purpose is to speak on issues that women in Arab communities are prevented from discussing openly, by using a fictional story line based on realistic experiences in order to deliver the message. The first season of the show can be found on their website and on SoundCloud, while the second season on its way in the summer of 2016.

 

 

 

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Advancing gender equality in media

In my opinion, the most effective strategy to achieve gender-sensitive media is:

Increased gender-awareness training of media professionals
Greater action by audiences to hold their media accountable
Stricter enforcement of gender-focussed media codes and policies
More female journalists, editors and media house managers

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