Women and media in conflict zones

Yemen and Iraq are both countries with a heavily male-dominated culture, that have been rocked by instability, and in which the plight of women is a major preoccupation. Makanati (“My Place” in Arabic) encourages women to participate more in society and helps people better understand their problems.



February 2020 - February 2022

Total budget


Gender equality

For the past two years, Makanati has contributed to improving the situation for women in Iraq and Yemen, countries where they regularly fall victim to overt violations of human rights as well as being exposed to sexual assault and sexism-inspired violence. This project encourages women to participate more in society and helps people better understand their problems, via training initiatives for female journalists, and the production and broadcasting of media content.

In 2021, over 100 journalists and students benefitted from training courses on the theme of gender equality. Iraqi scientists produced a roadmap with recommendations to promote the role of women in the media. A national seminar was organised in Yemen, attended by 25 participants – journalists, representatives of SCOs and the local media – to pinpoint possible ways of improving the representation of women by media outlets. Lastly, 70 people were given training in leadership, managing media firms, legislation and policies affecting women, and gender equality in both countries.

“My participation in the Makanati project was a turning-point in my life, in both professional and personal terms.”
Mihraban Salih, journalist and professor at the University of Sulaimani (Iraq)

Three new radio programmes discussing women

Over 150 reports devoted to women were broadcast in 2021, thanks to two platforms and Launched in Yemen and Iraq respectively, the platforms are managed by the project beneficiaries. The content was produced by 80 journalists and students from the university’s Media Department, who received individual support on producing reports. In February 2021, Monte Carlo Doualiya radio (MCD) produced a report focussing specifically on Makanati beneficiaries.

Content was monitored to assess the quality of output and issue recommendations. Three women’s radio programmes were launched, broadcasting 65 episodes in Yemen: Saniaat Assalam (“Peacemakers” in Arabic) and Makanati on the radio station Lana, as well as A’ashanik (“For You” in Arabic) on the radio station Yemen Times. These programmes have raised awareness among Yemenites to the need to fight violence against women and gender stereotypes. They have also let women have their say, giving them a chance to discuss their projects, achievements and participation in reconstruction for both countries.

Account by a Yemenite beneficiary, Fatema Ahmed, journalist and professor at the University of Aden (in Arabic, with English sub-titles)

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More projects carried out in 2021