Gaza: Rawan Majdalawi is a news personality for a women’s television channel called Taif in Gaza.
Which is why it was weird when, for her first episode of her show, she decided to visit a carpentry site and interview the workers there.
They showed her how to cut wood and how to construct closets, but would women be interested in that?
Mona Awkal, founder of Taif, thinks so.
“The idea for establishing the channel emerged from the need for change in society. Policies here don’t provide many opportunities for youth and women in particular,” she tells Gulf News.
“We started the channel after a successful youth initiative emerged and spread on social media,” the journalism graduate said.
Taif, in Arabic, means spectrum.
“We chose this name for our channel because we hope to give voice to the spectrum of Palestinian women in all of their beautiful colours that radiate life, love and strength,” Awkal says.
For Majdalawi, she chose to focus her show around carpentry as it is one of the more lucrative fields of work in Gaza.
“If men can do it, surely women can do,” she says with a simple shrug.
Taif, which uploads its episodes on Facebook is the first only-women channel in Gaza.
The show’s page has attracted around 30,000 followers.
It is also believed to be the only institution in Gaza that hires only women.
Even non-profit organisations catered towards women have men in most senior positions.
The Taif team starts every morning by scanning the news, looking for angles of particular interest to women.
Based on this, they then brainstorm ideas for programmes and hunt down subjects to interview.
For now, the employees of the channel are working for free, since it has yet to receive funding, but the women running the channel hope one day to have dedicated sponsors.
The important thing is they channel wishes to maintain its independence from political organisations, so they want to be very selective about where they receive their money from.
“If we get sponsors in the fure we want to only work with independent organisations. We do not want to have a political agenda,” Awkal says.
Currently the channel has 15 employees who work as programmers, broadcasters, field correspondents, sound engineers and producers.
The women pride themselves on pushing sensitive and controversial topics to light.
Besides the episode on careers of men, the show has also tackled hot-button issues like gender inequality, wage gap between men and women.
By addressing these topics they hope to shed light on the plight of marginalised women and work on ways to empower them.
Its staffers even braved the very dangerous coverage of the Gaza border protests where dozens were shot dead and thousands injured by Israeli snipers.
For Majdlawi, working in Taif has been a privilege.
“I hope I can pave the way for radical change by raising important issues women face in a creative way,” she tells Gulf News.
-Story inputs from Layelle Saad/GCC Middle East Editor