The director of the first ever women's radio station in the Middle East has told Arabstoday of her ambitions to provide Palestinian women with a voice.
Mayson Awoda is station manager at Women FM, a 5-day a week radio station broadcasting across West Bank and looking at the role of women in the occupied territories.
Speaking to Arabstoday, Awoda said she wants to give women "the chance to communicate through the radio, because they are unable to communicate geographically with the separation wall and security barriers."
Women FM was launched in 2010 and is funded by the Swiss charity Womanity, with commercial advertising providing for 35 percent of the budget. The production team consists of seven women and three men and there is live broadcasting from 0600 hrs to 1600 hrs from Sunday to Thursday. Pre-recorded programming based on the life of ordinary Palestinians and cultural music is used to fill the rest of the hours.
Awoda says each of the live programmes is aimed at attracting a certain female demographic. From 0700 hrs to 1000 hrs, Kahwa Mazbota looks at Palestinian news, weather, books and film reviews for women. From 1100 hrs to 1300 hrs, Women Briek is about problems such as divorce, polygamy and domestic violence. There is also discussion about relationships, legislation relating to women and marital rights. Finally, from 1300 hrs to 1600 hrs, Modern Women deals with family problems, children and working women's issues, along with the economic angle and promoting the role of women in the Palestinian economy.
Awoda explained that Women FM broadcasts across the nine governorates of the West Bank, but technical problems mean it cannot be heard in Gaza. The station has a correspondent in the Gaza providing regular radio reports.
Awoda says Womanity is looking to set up a similar radio station in Egypt after a successful experiment with Women FM.