In Sudan, a country often ranked among the world’s worst for gender equality, many women are deprived of their rights. Now, a new SAT-7 ARABIC show is offering them a platform for their voices to be heard. Hosted by three female Sudanese presenters, Woman and Mirror is giving women hope by showing them their true worth – reflected not in a mirror, but in the Bible.
Gender discrimination in Sudan begins in childhood. The country has one of the highest rates of Female Genital Mutilation in the world at 87 per cent. A quarter of Sudanese girls stop attending school early on in their secondary education. Girls can legally be married at just ten years old.
DISCRIMINATION AND ABUSE
More than a third of Sudanese girls are married by 18, and forced marriage is commonplace. Marital rape is not a crime. Heartbreakingly, 34 per cent of Sudanese women believe that a husband can be justified in hitting or beating his wife.
These social norms tell women their gender makes them of lesser value, and this can be very damaging for their self-image. Many have no hope for anything better for their lives, simply because they are not aware that it is possible, or that they are worthy of it. SAT-7 ARABIC’s talk show, Woman and Mirror, aims to reverse this – by showing viewers their true, priceless value, and encouragement to reach for a better life.
NO ORDINARY MIRROR
“In an ordinary mirror, a woman will only see her external reflection,” says Producer Hany Henein. “But in the mirror of the Bible, she’ll see her true self. We try to help women see themselves through the eyes of our Lord Jesus, who values and respects each and every one of them.”
The show helps viewers find solutions rooted in their Christian faith to feel worthy and hopeful for better circumstances for their lives. Since the presenters speak in simple classical Arabic as well as the Sudanese Arabic dialect, women across the wider region are able to benefit from the teachings on family life, parenting, and spiritual growth.
“Just as we eat during the day to make our bodies strong, our spirits need prayer to be strong,” shares guest Presenter Theresa Naqouth.
Marriage, divorce, raising children and strengthening family life are some of the topics covered in the first series.
One episode explained the concept of “family church” and nurturing faith in the home. In a country where Christians are a small minority, this is essential, says co-presenter, Victoria Nianter. “We must give our children the keys to heaven by teaching them how to read the Bible and telling them about Jesus. The first time children learn about Jesus is at home, from their parents.”
The episode went on to outline how each member of the family has a role in family devotions and how “family church” prepares children to live a Christian life in school and society.
Soaring inflation, public protests and a security crackdown under a state of emergency have made life difficult and unsafe for many in Sudan. Pray for the country’s people. Pray that SAT-7 programmes like Woman and Mirror will offer guidance and reassurance to women and families in these unstable times.
 Source: World Health Organisation
 Source: UNICEF Data and Analytics Section, updated 2017
 Source: UNICEF
 Source: Ministry of Cabinet Central Bureau of Statistics, Sudan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014