Middle East (MNN) — Oftentimes women in the Middle East have no voice, very few rights, and they are looked down upon by men.
That’s why SAT-7, a Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is helping repressed women take a stand and speak up.
Repression of Women in the Middle East
There are many restrictions on Middle Eastern women.
For example, they’re banned from driving, not allowed to admit their child to the hospital without consent from their husband, and must have permission to travel, work, or access education.
These women are seen as objects or toys to men and lawmakers. The Guardian reports 47.2% of women in Tunisia have suffered domestic violence, 90% of married women in Egypt have undergone female genital mutilation, and 99.3% of women in Egypt have been sexually harassed.
For women who have been raped, the perpetrator’s crime is fully excused if they marry the woman and stay with her for three years.
Most women don’t speak up when they are raped, for fear of destroying any chance they have of finding a real marriage, and for fear of shaming their families.
In some cases, families feel like these victimized women have brought dishonor on them. The only way to cleanse the family of dishonor is to participate in an “honor killing” — that is, killing the woman who was raped.
How Women are Finding Their Voice
Many women are slowly finding their voice, however, and SAT-7 is a part of the movement. Recently, SAT-7 launched a new program called Because I am a Woman.
This news show addresses hard-hitting topics that affects women in the Arab world. Each episode discusses topics not freely talked about by women, such as divorce, child custody rights, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and honor crimes.
It’s giving women the confidence they need to tell people how they feel, and SAT-7 hopes it will also urge them to speak up about their faith in Jesus so they might share the Truth with others.
“Women’s issues are the foundation of much that is happening in the Arab world right now,” says presenter and producer Julie Nakouzi.
“SAT-7 cares about the dynamics of family life. We are highlighting these issues in an effective way to change public opinion and encourage people to take a stand concerning these topics.”
Pray for these repressed women to find courage to speak about their faith and to find acceptance, love, and support in the Middle East.
Want to take it one step further? Donate to SAT-7 and show your appreciation of what they’re doing!