New Arabic language Podcast sheds light upon women’s issues in the Arab States region

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Ahmed Ezzat, Producer of the Arabic Podcast "The Hidden Women" supported by UN Women. Photo: Courtesy of Ahmed Ezzat.

A new Arabic podcast titled “The Invisible Women” is telling the often unknown or ignored stories of women and girls in the Arab States region. The podcast, produced by artist and social entrepreneur Ahmed Ezzat, focuses on women’s issues, struggles and achievements in the region.

In an effort to reach out to new online audiences, UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States is partnering with “The Invisible Women” to shed light on issues such as women’s leadership and participation, ending violence against women, women, peace and security, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality among other topics.

Produced fully in Arabic, the show has a strong focus on real-life testimonials. For each episode, the producers reach out to individuals, experts and recognized figures from different walks of life to discuss the themes.

“The success of podcasts lies in the fact that they are both a tool to sensitize and educate about issues but also one to empower users who can easily produce their own content,” explains Mr. Ezzat. “Gender equality is a field where the two aspects of podcasting flourish with an ever-increasing number of podcasts made to educate about women’s status in the world and also as platforms for women with limited resources to voice their views and concerns.” He added.

After a 30-year career in commercial and investment banking, Mr. Ezzat has spent the last eight years working on social, cultural and relief organizations and initiatives in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Europe. One of his projects is Ibtidi (which means “start” in Arabic) a web-based platform hosting and promoting podcasts including “The Hidden Women”.

Some of the episodes produced in collaboration with UN Women include an episode on the practice of female genital mutilation, featuring UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Jaha Dukureh and an episode on the so-called “honor crimes” featuring Jordanian journalist and human rights activist Rana Husseini. Other episodes have focused on young women living with disabilities and women living in rural areas, highlighting their day-to-day struggles and concerns but also their hopes and creativity.

“The media helps to shape our world but unfortunately we still encounter stereotypes that perpetuate gender discrimination. Because of this, we’re very excited to collaborate with “The Invisible Women” podcast to give a platform to the voices of women in the Arab region. By using digital formats and providing content in the Arabic language, we will be able to reach out to young girls and boys to support the cause of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the region,” said Mohammad Naciri, UN Women Regional Director for the Arab States.

UN Women has supported the following podcasts: