Radio Nisaa FM was founded with the vision of increasing women’s participation in public debates, and breaking down the entrenched gender-stereotypes that still characterize large parts of Palestinian society, in villages as well as in city centers. The media scene in Palestine has for many years contributed to enforcing the traditional views of women’s role in society: women are rarely news producers and presenters, and the news market is dominated by a male perspective whereby women are considered passive recipients of news contents in which they rarely act as positive protagonists. In 2014, the ratio of female vs. male journalists in Palestine was 25% female to 75% male.
The image of Palestinian women as portrayed by traditional media outlets is often stereotyped, and news tends to focus on topics that portray women as victims of violence and abuse. Furthermore, limitations related to the political situation and social norms undermine press freedom and cause self-censorship among journalists, for example on the topic of honor killings.
In a society that is still very traditional, Nisaa FM strives to add a new dimension to the media scene by fostering positive and democratic debate between men and women on topics of public interest, as well as on women’s empowerment issues. The training of women reporters plays an important role in achieving this goal.
Nisaa FM’s training programs aim to:
- increase women’s representation and participation in public debates;
- provide women with practical reporting and broadcasting skills that will increase their employability and strengthen their options for becoming economically independent;
- promote pluralism in the media and gender-neutral reporting;
- inspire Palestinian women who wish to challenge traditional gender-roles and claim their right to being as professionally ambitious and capable as their male counterparts;
- support capacity-building of women in rural areas;
- foster citizen journalism and community radio skills, which both play a vital role in connecting women and men across the Palestinian territories.
The details of the training projects Nisaa FM has launched so far can be seen below.
2016 Training Palestinian Youth at Summer Camp
The Deutsche Welle Cooperation and Radio Nisaa FM has held training sessions at the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Ramallah for eight journalist students from different Palestinian universities, including Hebron, Bir Zeit and Nablus. The students have been trained to teach at the upcoming “Speak Up! Palestinian youth goes radio” summer camp which will be taking place in the end of July, aiming to increase media literacy among young Palestinians.
In cooperation with Deutsche Welle Radio Nisaa hosted a summer camp in Ramallah for young Palestinians between the age of 14-16 in July 2016. The aim was to increase media literacy among the youth. The workshops had focus on strengthening their skills to access, analyze, and evaluate how media messages affect culture and society whilst preparing for 14 weekly radio sessions which were broadcasted from August till November. The topic for each show reflected upon the main theme “Youth in the Palestinian society” and was choosen by the youth
during the summer camp. In every episode experts, decision-makers, teachers, students, NGOs etc. was invited to discuss the weekly topics.
Building on the achievements of the 2011 UNESCO-supported training project, this project in 2013 sought to enhance the role of professional women journalists in the media environment in Palestine as well as improve their knowledge about the use of social media as a means of reporting.
With this project, supported by the UNESCO Office in Ramallah, Nisaa FM aimed to increase pluralism in the Palestinian media, and to foster positive democratic debate within and across genders on topics of public interest and on women's empowerment issues. Its target group of seven female participants, selected mainly from rural Palestine, received training in all aspects of radio broadcasting and reporting techniques.
Since 2011, Nisaa FM has cooperated with a number of Palestinian universities in training students in basic reporting and broadcasting techniques.