Popular fiction series produced by The Womanity Foundation encourages debate around women’s roles in Arab society
Season 3 launches across platforms 14 April 2018
8 April 2018, Dubai, UAE – “B100Ragl”, (“Be Yourself”) returns this week with an all-new season three, launching on 14th April 2018 on Kharabeesh and B100Ragl Facebook page. The fictional series is the creation of The Womanity Foundation and its local partners Lapis Communication and Kharabeesh and aims to raise awareness and spark debate around issues relating to women’s roles and rights in the Middle East and North Africa. The edutainment program combines the use of new media alongside on the ground workshops to give women platforms to be heard in spheres where they would normally be silenced, and provide youth with new tools to communicate, inform and advocate.
B100Ragl revolves around Noha, the heroine of the series, who through her work as a journalist, encounters a wide range of social issues which she tackles and finds creative solutions for. Topics explored in season three include the role of men in women’s empowerment and those commonly regarded as taboo: divorce, street harassment, equal opportunities, treatment in the workplace as well as positive messages around female leadership and agency. Each episode is dealt with in an entertaining and compelling way, allowing the narrative to explore new perspectives on the challenges faced by women in the Arab world. Noha fights prejudice and oppression and in turn, becomes a role model for the whole society.
Yann Borgstedt, Founder and President of The Womanity Foundation commented, “We are really excited to be launching season three of B100Ragl. Womanity has been running innovative media programmes since it’s early days because we genuinely believe that media is a powerful tool for raising awareness around gender equality. The success of B100Ragl S1, as a radio series that broadcasted across the Arab region from Morocco to Saudi Arabia including on our own Radio Nisaa in Palestine, inspired us to evolve and adapt it into an animated digital series. This reached an even bigger audience and was a powerful endorsement of the validity of media as a way of raising awareness around gender-related issues.”
In season three, Noha returns for more relatable adventures. The ten-part series follows her showcasing the stories of women from the region through her online podcasts, overcoming her boss’ orders to stop her show due to its lack of ‘girliness’ and appeal to sponsors. The content for this new season was developed through a collaborative process and three-day creative workshop in Amman in 2017, in partnership with Lapis Communication and Kharabeesh. Egyptian rap-band and keen supporters of Womanity’s work, the Sharmoofers wrote and performed the title song exclusively for season , whilst popular social media celebrities Iraqi siblings Lowi and Sandra Sahi continue to endorse and promote the show on their platforms.
“B100Ragl” is an Egyptian expression qualifying influential and accomplished women that are said to be worth 100 men. Used provocatively, the title B100Ragl aims to reflect on what it means to be a strong successful woman in Arab countries. However, is it worth comparing genders in this way? What does this measure tell us? Womanity explores these issues and offers solutions both through the series itself and the workshops that follow. This unique combination of online and offline engagement helps Womanity and its partners to shed a light on women’s social and economic empowerment, their participation in public life, confrontation with domestic violence, sexual harassment as well as many other challenges.
The new season builds on the two previous ones (S1 released as a radio programme in 2014 and S2 released in 2016 as an animated series) which saw Noha initially played by beloved actress Mona Zaki followed by the talented Saba Mubarak taking on the lead role, while Nancy Ajram and Alaa Wardi produced and performed the exclusive soundtrack for seasons one and two respectively.
Overall the first two seasons reached more than two million individuals across the Arab World and spearheaded relevant public debates in a number of cities across the region in partnership with grassroots organizations in urban and rural settings alike. B100Ragl is regarded by its audience (online and offline) as a needed fresh and innovative approach to bring about societal change.
“Our aim through this work is to open up a space for debate on some of the challenges faced by women, and at the same time, to focus on their abilities to find solutions and to make valuable contributions to their community,” Rafia Qureshi, Executive Director of the Womanity Foundation declared. “When it comes to media and women’s empowerment, there is a common misconception that we need to empower women to use their voice. We often forget that women already have a voice and more often than not, they just need a platform to be heard. Fiction and entertainment can be an engaging, non-confrontational way to set the scene for constructive conversations about gender dynamics and unconventional issues. That’s how the conversations generated by B100Ragl can encourage men and women to take action and build a more just and equal society, together.”
To be part of the conversation, go to http://b100ragl.com
“B100Ragl” is a production of the Womanity Foundation (www.womanity.org) in partnership with Lapis Communication and Kharabeesh.
Notes to Editors: About The Womanity Foundation
Established in 2005 by Yann Borgstedt, a Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist, the Womanity Foundation believes in a world where all women and men enjoy equal and full social, economic, and political rights. Guided by this vision of the world, Womanity aims to empower women and girls in emerging markets and accelerate progress within their communities.
Womanity engages with businesses, social entrepreneurs and civil society organisations to deliver meaningful impact and ignite positive change through innovation, collaboration, scaling-up and replication. Womanity provides education and vocational training, helps scale women-focussed social enterprises and create economic opportunities, as well as replicating initiatives proven to prevent violence against women. Additionally, the foundation’s work encourages positive role modelling of women and girls and challenges harmful gender norms through media.
These impact areas were identified as critical to realising Sustainable Development Goal #5: Gender Equality, by the UN high-level panel for Women’s economic empowerment in 2017. Womanity believes that men have an important role to play in the realisation of women’s rights globally and actively engage men in solutions across all its work.
Womanity is an independent private foundation registered in Switzerland, Afghanistan, the UK and the USA (under the auspices of the King Baudouin Foundation USA).
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