In the presence of more than 100 officials, media, civil society members and activists, Fe-Male Organization, in partnership with the Lebanese Women Democratic Gathering-RDFL, launched “Image Upon Request” documentary on December 9, 2014 at UNESCO Palace.
The documentary, part of Fe-Male’s online “Sell Your Product, Not Her Body” advocacy campaign launched in the same year, highlighted how the social status-quo in which patriarchal tendencies dominate the Lebanese society was reflected in the media. Image upon Request featured interviews with prominent feminist activists, TV personalities, psychological experts, lawyers, and ordinary people in the street. In addition, the documentary compiled a collection of disgraceful TV clips and commercial sketches that invade our screens and streets.
The opening speech of the launching was with Fe-Male’s Co-Director, Aliaa Awada, in which she introduced the documentary as a mere continuation of the organization’s work on advocacy and campaigning on challenging the stereotyped image of women in media and ads, especially within the framework of “Sell Your Product, Not Her Body” campaign which aimed at raising awareness and highlighting all kinds of discrimination that the media and advertising in Lebanon and the Arab world perpetuate, and which promotes women’s objectifications, leading to an increase in violence against them.
An enriching discussion, moderator by journalist and Fe-Male’s co-founder Hayat Mirshad, between the panelists and the audience followed the screening of the documentary, where Manar Zaiter, Lebanese Lawyer and human rights activist highlighted the impact of media on shaping the opinion of the public, and emphasized the responsibility of the Lebanese Government in that sense. Moreover, Azza Kamel, Egyptian researcher and coordinator of the Arab Network for Monitoring and Changing the Image of Women and Men in the Media, also shared her experience in monitoring the image of women throughout the years, and how this image is continuously subject to violations by the media.