The National Council for Women and UN Women Organize a Panel Discussion on “Between Two Seas” Film

Date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Maya Morsy, President of NCW (middle) and Gielan Elmessiri, UN Women Head of Office,a.i. (right) honoring Mariam Naoum, film writer (left). Photo Credits: UN Women/Ismail Hamdy

Maya Morsy, President of NCW (middle) and Gielan Elmessiri, UN Women Head of Office,a.i. (right) honoring Mariam Naoum, film writer (left). Photo Credits: UN Women/Ismail Hamdy

Cairo, 02 December 2019 – In line with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the National Council for Women (NCW) along with UN Women organized a panel discussion on “Between Two Seas” film in the presence of the film’s cast, crew, members of NCW, UN Women representatives, media and members of the Media Committee at NCW.

In her speech, Dr. Maya Morsy expressed her content for the success of “Between Two Seas” that was qualified to receive many awards from international film festivals. Dr. Morsy praised the cooperation between NCW and UN Women, pointing out that this film is a result of more than two years of consecutive work. Dr. Morsy was also keen to thank all the film’s crew and cast especially the author Mariam Naoum and the director Anas Tolba, in addition to NCW and UN Women teams.

Dr. Morsy also highlighted that the Ministry of Culture, headed by Dr. Inas Abdel Dayem, will provide the opportunity to screen the film in cultural centers in all governorates. She hopes that the film reaches every home in Egypt, noting that there is a law that criminalizes FGM in Egypt. Additionally, Dr. Mosry mentioned the National Council for Women is raising awareness against FGM through the knocking door campaigns currently being implemented during the 16 days activism in 8 governorates, where female genital mutilation is highly prevalent, pointing out that the film discusses violence against women in general and not only FGM. Dr. Morsy expressed her desire in having more of such films that help in positively impacting societies. Dr. Maya acknowledged that even though the film has won many awards in international film festivals, but the National Council for women was keen to honor the film’s crew and cast in the council, which is the home of Egyptian women.

In her remarks, Ms. Gielan Elmessiri, UN Women Head of Office,a.i. , expressed her gratitude to the National Council for Women headed by Dr. Maya Morsy, and the existing partnership between NCW and UN Women that is based on cooperation and team spirit looking forward to more successes in the future. Ms. Elmessiri thanked the author Mariam Naoum for her work that succeeded in featuring many important issues from a gender perspective, noting that the film portrays the life of different women and the challenges they face. Ms. Elmessiri also expressed her hope for the film to reach as many members of the public and that it contributes to creating a public debate around these important issues that impact on the family as a whole to contribute to positive behavioral change and eliminating harmful practices. Ms. ElMessiri also highlighted that UN Women is working with NCW to implement various activities to eliminate violence against women, including supporting the efforts of the Women's Complaints Office in the NCW and collaborates with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to improve the capacity of women’s shelters that receive women survivors of violence.

The first session of the panel discussion entitled “Violence Against Women between Inherited Traditions and Reality” was led by Dr. Suzan AlQaliny, a member of the National Council for Women. Dr. AlQaliny confirmed that the cinema plays a crucial role in changing social norms as well as amending some laws. Dr. Suzan added that the film is unique in all aspects including the storyline and the actor’s excellent performance. During the session, Mariam Naoum, the author, clarified that the film’s scriptwriting process went through different stages in order to be finalized in a way that the final product would reach out to a wide range of audience and have an impact on the viewers. The two actors, Mahmoud Fares and Fekry Selim also participated in this session reflecting on their experience in the film through the roles that they played.

The second session, which was moderated by Dr. Lubna Khairy, a member of the Media Committee at the Council, through which she expressed her content with the success of the film and how it presented different forms of violence against women including FGM, denial to education and work. The panel included actress Fatma Adel who stated that all forms of violence against women are equally dangerous which furthers women’s sense of inferiority and destroys her dreams. Fatma stressed on the important role that parents play in supporting girls and protecting them from all forms of violence and raising their son to respect women. Finally, AbdElRahman ElGarawany, Executive Producer, stated that Axeer, the National Council for Women and UN Women have partnered on different projects before including the song “Nour” and the short movie “Mariam and the Sun”. Garawany mentioned that the film discusses FGM as a crime and the role of ignorance and illiteracy in the spread of this scourge in society, one of the biggest disasters that we face in our societies.

For more information, please contact Maha Rateb; Communication and Advocacy Analyst at maha.rateb@unwomen.org

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