Bent Bladi director talks women’s rights today
Rabat – Manal Wahbi
The Moroccan women’s electronic magazine Bent Bladi has risen in popularity in a very short amount of time.
Arabstoday sat down with its editor, Azrar Ghizlane, to discuss the state of women’s rights in the Middle Eastern media.
Ghizlane told Arabstoday she believed in a meritocracy of gender and not in positive discrimination.
“When it comes to decision-making in media or politics, the main criteria should be competence, not equal numbers,” she said. “That’s not to say I’m totally satisfied with the number of women at the top of media organisations though.”
“Women constitute no more than 10 percent of the workforce in the media,” Ghizlane claimed.
Asked why her magazine is doing so well in today’s Moroccan market, the Bent Bladi editor put it down to two factors: faith in web journalism and management approaches.
“There is a love for electronic journalism in Morocco,” she said. “Web journalists are often accused of being lazy, working at home with their computers in their laps.”
“As an e-magazine we are at the same pressers and events as the print media. And so we’re now enjoyed by well-known figures in business, politics and the arts world.”
A unity of vision throughout the company has also led to success.
“We all have the same visions and goals which have minimalised disagreements and allowed us to become successful,” Ghizlane revealed.
But the Bent Bladi editor says there is still work to be done, particularly with regards to women’s rights.
“The number of women working as hosts in current affairs programmes puts a big question mark over the state of exclusion and restriction placed on women in the media,” she said.
“There’s still restrictions put on women in veils. We had hoped that with the Islamist Justice and Development Party (JDP) in power, that might change,” Ghizlane argued.
“We still hope that the authorities will ultimately give our women justice.”