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Maysoun Odeh Gangat

Maysoun Odeh Gangat is of Palestinian origin and pursued her studies in both France and America. She has decades of experience in the media sector, particularly in Palestine. In 2009, with strong support and seed capital from The Womanity Foundation, Maysoun launched NISAA Broadcasting Company in Ramallah. She has subsequently received multiple awards for her work, including a Synergos Fellowship, Ashoka Fellow, member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and awards from both the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. She was also the recipient of President Mahmoud Abbas's Award: Palestine Cavalier in 2016. Last November in Dubai, Nisaa FM achieved the Pro Broadcast Summit Award as the Best Radio Initiative in the MENA region for the year 2019. A ceremony hosted by the Arab Broadcasters Union.

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NISAA Radio
Contact via
Model
Hybrid Social Enterprise
Sectors
Media, Entertainment and Information; Social Innovation; Gender Parity
Headquarters
Palestinian Territories
Areas of Impact
Middle East & North Africa, Palestinian Territories

NISAA Radio

Just as media can reinforce gender stereotypes, NISAA is using media as a tool to debate taboos, challenge traditional roles assigned to women, and present women as capable and assertive actors in society, thereby reshaping power relations. NISAA, which means “woman” in Arabic, has three radio frequencies across the Palestinian Territories and a listenership of 126,000, or 10% of the total population. NISAA’s unique mix of Western and Arabic music, interspersed with morning, noon, evening and weekend talk shows, is intentionally designed to be attractive to both women and men, since actively engaging men in the conversation about gender is central to NISAA’s philosophy (men represent 57% of total listeners).

All of NISAA’s presenters and most of its guests and expert contributors are women. The morning show focuses on the top economic and political stories, including pieces from women reporters in the field, and features a special segment depending on the day of the week (e.g. interviews with women making a difference in their community on Mondays; discussions on workplace issues on Wednesdays; mental health segments on Sundays). The midday show focuses on critical women’s issues, such as domestic violence and honour killings, with segments developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, USAID, and other institutions. The afternoon show targets adolescents and teen girls with stories that convey the importance of education and self-respect.

The station’s commercial sponsors include the Palestinian National Bank, Coca-Cola, Paltel, and Deutche Welle, while philanthropic donors include the Womanity Foundation, USAID, and the UK’s Department for International Development, which provided a grant to help NISAA develop an Android application so listeners can tune in from their phones. NISAA plans to expand FM programming into Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and is identifying potential affiliate stations in Syria and Yemen.