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antonella.notari's blog

Arabic radio fiction series sparks discussions on women's role in society - "Be 100 Ragl" (Worth 100 Men)

To: The Media Development network in The Communication Initiative

from Noora Sharrab, Social Media Coordinator, "Be 100 Ragl", and Antonella Notari Vischer, Executive Director, The Womanity Foundation, May 13 2014

Harnessing the power of fiction to talk about social change

In Egypt, Iraq, Palestine and Jordan, thousands of listeners daily tune in to their radios these days to follow the story of Noha, a young female radio journalist, played by the brilliant actress Mona Zaki. The radio fiction series entitled "Be 100 Ragl" - meaning "Worth 100 Men" - boldly tackles problems faced by women in the Middle East and beyond. In her work and private life, Noha is confronted with sexual harassment, domestic violence, gender-based discrimination and chauvinism. As a journalist, she intrepidly investigates corruption scandals and social problems. [Editor's note: Click here for a summary of this project on The CI website, which includes links to further ways to learn about it online.

Noha's adventures and her heroic personality are sparking debates on air and on social media. Women and men are sharing their opinions on important but sensitive issues affecting Arab societies. The "radio novel" is shedding light on taboos and opening up much needed conversations about the role of women in society, both in the private and public spheres.

No protection, no safety, no respect

The online engagement around "Be 100 Ragl" particularly rose when the discussion turned to sexual harassment, with a significant participation from Egyptian listeners. Part of the debate was around "whose fault" it is and "who is to blame", with questions on whether it is what women are wearing or how they behave in public that provokes men.

The Media Development Network