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Can you imagine a world without women?

UNFPA Palestine Country Office together with Ma’an Satellite TV with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) did an experiment – the first of its kind in Palestine. We took eight Palestinian influencers/celebrities – told the wives to leave the house and then made the celebrities take the full responsibility of the household including the children. The experience was filmed as the first ever Palestinian produced reality TV show named ‘Partners... but?’, capturing this in a fun and entertaining way and thereby carving the way for greater gender equality.

Some male celebrities featured in the show tried to cook for the first time ever; adding too much salt to the food by mistake or burning the meat. Others spend the whole day inside the house taking care of the children, cleaning and preparing food, complaining that they did not have any ‘me-time’. After this experience, all of celebrities could agree on one thing; ‘we as husbands, fathers and sons need to step in and share the responsibilities’, as one of the celebrities mentioned.

Many husbands in Palestine already share some responsibilities with their wives when it comes to household task – especially if both the husband and wives are working. However, many husband do not want their extended family or friends to know about this – let alone broadcast it on national television. The reality TV show has here been a ‘game changer’, making it more acceptable for husbands to participate in the household tasks and by giving appreciation to domestic work. 

The public was engaged through Ma’an TV’s Facebook page, to facilitate discussion and a talk show was filmed and broadcasted following each reality TV show being more serious and taking up topics in relation to gender equality within the area of specialty for each celebrity. Initially, many of the Facebook comments were negative of nature stating both religion and cultural values as sources of division of work between men and women, however, through the TV programme phase, more positive reactions were registered.

Link to the report from Ma'an TV