Maysoun Odeh Gangat

Ashoka Fellow
Ramallah, Palestine
Fellow Since 2012
Related TopicsCivic Engagement, Media

Citation

This profile was prepared when Maysoun Odeh Gangat was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Maysoun uses the media to transform how women see themselves and how they are viewed by and presented in regional and global media. She also works from within her radio station to inspire role models of women media professionals to increase the number of women working as top professionals in the media field. Thus, Maysoun is empowering women on all fronts and addresses all stakeholders to work on advancing women in society and improving their image. Maysoun’s systematic and inspirational approach to women’s issues gradually changes the perception of Arab women amongst themselves and within society, by highlighting the positive role of women in their community and presenting a fresh image of the multifaceted Arab woman, who has always been a strong pillar of support in the community, but can also make a profound difference for herself and those around her. Maysoun eliminates the common stereotype of women as victims. As one of the few female, top media professionals, Maysoun established 96 NISAA FM as the only station run by and for women. The streaming is also available online making it accessible to listeners in the MENA region and Diaspora; connecting people together in one comprehensive platform focused on one goal, improving women’s quality of life and dissolving the gender gap in the political, social, and economic participation of women.

Maysoun’s media platform combines interactive entertainment programming with social and informative journalism to engage both men and women alike and involve both in the process of transformative change. Improving women’s status in society betters the lives of everyone. Maysoun reaches men and women at different social, educational, and economic levels through radio because of its wide reach and affordability in all communities, including refugee camps and remote areas. Maysoun also informs and inspires Palestinian women in the media sector by providing successful role models—including herself and her staff—and offering training opportunities for female journalists. She will be hiring more women media professionals as she expands geographically, covering Gaza and elsewhere. Thus, Maysoun gives a new face to women and cheerful voice to Palestine, much needed inspiration and upbeat programing to relieve the stresses of living under military occupation. She exposes the richness of Palestinian culture and the diversity of women in the region, which are the positive counterparts of conflict.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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