Throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), gender discrimination is rife. Women are considered to have lower status and value than men; there are limited education and employment opportunities for girls and women, and they are often subject to injustice and abuse. This starts from a young age. In Iran, girls from poor families are at risk of being forced into child labour and can be married as young as nine. Even families in better situations often cannot afford to send their daughters to school. In Afghanistan, according to UNESCO, only 18% of women can read and write. Sexual abuse and domestic violence are commonplace.
Christian satellite tv broadcaster SAT-7 is supporting girls and young women in Iran and Afghanistan through programmes on its Farsi language channel, SAT-7 PARS. ‘Insiders’ is a live weekly chat show for women discussing topics from a Christian perspective and helping women work through problems together. Meanwhile, ‘A Girl’s World’, a live interactive program, gives girls aged 8 to 15 a chance to learn and talk about issues that are not otherwise discussed in their culture. The program covers challenging subjects, such as loneliness, rejection, protection from sexual abuse, and insecurities about physical appearance and body image, from a Christian perspective. Viewers are able to call in anonymously and ask for advice.
Presenter Parastoo Poortaheri said she wants ‘A Girl’s World’ to “break down the culture of shame” and “present a balanced, well-rounded view to give our audience something to think about”, adding, “Ultimately, we want these girls to know how valued they are in God’s eyes.”SAT-7’s viewer support team is always on hand to help those who get in touch in response to programmes. A viewer from Iran said: “I have never received the amount of care from my own family that I have received from you guys! Truly it is not the biological family relationship which makes you love someone, but indeed it’s the spirit of God connecting hearts. Thank you God that if I don’t have any earthly family, I have God’s family.”
Source: SAT-7 PARS
Bible Study: Ephesians 2:4-9
DECEMBER PRAISE God for the impact Christian satellite TV has in Iran.
PRAY God’s guidance and blessing on producers and presenters and that they will have wisdom to present the love of Christ in ways that speak to many hearts.