14 February 2017

Nisaa FM, the first women's radio station in the Middle East

The story of the radio station that aims to break down stereotypes about women and to encourage integration between the two sexes in Palestinian society.

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We help women overcome isolation and build bridges.
This is the mission of Nisaa FM, the first women’s commercial radio station in the Middle East. The station’s website explains that its mission is to contribute to promoting integration between the two sexes, starting with communication.

MAYSOUN ODEH GANGAT
Director, Nisaa FM Radio Station
It all began with an introduction to a Swiss entrepreneur named Yann Borgstedt, who‘s a chairperson of Womanity Foundation, which is partnering with us at Radio Nisaa. We met in Jerusalem one day back in August 2009 and he expressed his interest in having a women radio station. Together we came up with this idea.

The first broadcast took place in 2010, with two daily programs.
In just a few months, the audience grew by 2 percent. Today, the Arabic language station, Radio Nisaa, for women, is broadcast in all of the Palestinian territories and can be tuned into by more than 600 thousand people.

MAYSOUN ODEH GANGAT
Director, Nisaa FM Radio Station
A lot of the content of our programs is dedicated to women and men also, empowering them, giving them tips on their rights, talking to them, entertaining them with music and more... Most of the staff are women, because this is the other objective of Nisaa FM: to train women journalists who are empowered and in senior positions.

At its headquarters in Ramallah, Nisaa FM now boasts a dozen employees, who have degrees in communications or who have had previous related work experience.

DUAA SIOURI
Journalist, Nisaa FM Radio Station
I have been here at Nisaa FM Radio for about a month and a half. I moved from the television industry because I wanted to specialize in women's issues, especially because here in Palestine space is never given to those issues. So, therefore, I wanted to work with a women’s radio station that gave a voice to those who are marginalized and ignored.

YAZAN SAMARA
Director of programming and production, Nisaa FM Radio Station
Perhaps people think that the name is a bit strong, Women FM--imagine hearing about a radio that is called Men FM! But I see it as a meeting place for men and women, in an effort to reach mutual understanding.

Over the years, the station has gained the respect and support of many different organizations, both local and international. From UNESCO to the United States Consulate, to several Palestinian ministers and NGOs operating in the area.

MAYSOUN ODEH GANGAT
Director, Nisaa FM Radio Station
Here, we are changing the stereotyped image about women as well: they are not only victims, women are empowered, women have success stories. We have lots of role models, who come here to Nisaa and talk about success stories as entrepreneurs, artists, ministers and so on. I believe that by having something dedicated to women you can really eliminate the negative image of women, within ourselves and outside.