Impact: What is the impact of the work to date?
When the show airs in Yemen, thousands of girls and their families will see something they have rarely seen before: relatable female role models succeeding in business.
Yemen is the poorest Arab country, facing a broken educational system and severe women’s rights problems. The show has the power to inspire young people from other countries to think ‘if they can do this there, I can surely do it here!’ Its broadcast would help millions see business and entrepreneurship as a viable path for Arab girls. Layalina has an established track record in ensuring a wide impact: its shows have all aired in primetime on leading pan-Arab satellite networks with tens of millions of viewers.
The screenings would bring the show to more targeted audiences of promising young women, corporate investors and policymakers, all of whom have the power to make an impact on women’s economic participation.
Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
The project’s main barrier, getting quality footage from Yemen despite security and political challenges, has already been overcome. The risk that the film might not be broadcast is mitigated by Layalina's track record with partners. A more serious challenge is getting viewers from other Arab countries to relate to the show. Layalina would focus the edited film around engaging characters who tell a universal story of pursuing a dream through hardships and eventual triumph. Adding footage that explains Yemen's context and removing internal references would help draw in pan-Arab viewers.
Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)
Pan-Arab free to air television channels are seen in all 22 Arab countries. Layalina has an established track record of partnering with the top 5 pan-Arab broadcasters to ensure that its shows reach the widest audience possible.
It goes without saying that the reliance on rote memorization employed widely in most Arab countries and the lack of the Socratic method is to the detriment of developing critical thinking skills and self-confidence in students, skills that would help them in their careers. We hope that this film (especially its classroom footage portion) engenders a call for educational reform in the countries that watch the documentary, as well as for increased institutional support for female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.