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Ten and Teens ‘Asher Taash’: Labelling SRH Topics as Taboos or Shying away will not Solve them

A Collaboration between UNFPA, Aramram and Rania Kurdi

Amman August 31st, 2021- UNFPA-Jordan in cooperation with Gray Scale production company Aramram Media and Jordanian artist Rania Kurdi, launched the TV show “Asher Taash”. The show, which translates to Tens and Teens; highlights sexual and reproductive health topics (SRH) pertaining to youth in a reliable scientific-based manner that employs comedy as a medium to transfer knowledge.

The show aims to bridge the knowledge gap in relation to sexual and reproductive health topics among youngsters, adolescents and their parents. Moreover, it is designed to correct false information and perceptions by providing reliable scientific sources of information, especially that ignorance is prevalent among youths who account to 63% of the Jordanian population. For example, statistics show that 66% of youths have never heard of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), while 82% of girls feel that they have not been prepared well enough for their menstrual cycles. Indeed, these figures are not only alarming but also shocking given that we live in an era of global knowledge and information abundance.

Through “Asher Taash” show UNFPA-Jordan targets youth and their parents alike, with the objective to dispel myths and old wives tales that have been passed on to generations lacking a reliable and accurate scientific base.

In the show, Rania Kurdi plays the roles of five women. Each character interacts differently with a sexual and reproductive health subject matter expert. The show covers topics like menstrual cycles, puberty, STIDs, child marriage, peer pressure, sexual harassment among others. Such topics are usually regarded as “taboo topics”, or some people shy away from discussing them although their perceptions are based on ignorance. “Asher Taash” delves deeply into 12 different SRH topics; each episode discusses a different topic in an innovative way. Also, the show reflects the perception of society about it, while being keen on rectifying such widely spread perceptions and disinformation by linking viewers to relevant informative websites at the end of each episode.

“The importance of this show stems from using social media as a platform to reach the largest number of audience”, indicated by Bothaina Qamar, Youth Programme Analyst at UNFPA-Jordan. “Asher Taash” compliments UNFPA’s comprehensive approach in working with youth and adolescents by enhancing their knowledge and awareness whether at schools, healthcare or youth centers or at the policy level that affects their lives. In addition to utilizing current technologies used in digital media spaces and on social media platforms”, she added.

Sanad Nouwar, the Youth Programme Associate on the other hand said, “it is vital that we reach youth on their platforms in innovative ways that refrain from lecturing and preaching. Hence, we as UNFPA sought to collaborate with artist Rania Kurdi, to deliver awareness messages that are designed to target adolescent boys and girls at the social media platforms that they frequent the most”.

 

The importance of this show stems from using social media as a platform to reach the largest number of audience

Bothaina Qamar, Youth Programme Analyst at UNFPA-Jordan

 

Mrs. Kurdi, in addition to being an artist and a media personality, she is also a mother of two, a life coach, and a human rights and women's rights activist. Therefore, preparing the script for the show went smoothly. Actually, Rania has added her personal touch that was inspired by both her life as a mother and as someone who has gained useful knowledge over the years. “Knowledge is power, and if we want to protect our children and youth, we need to talk to them in their language and on their platforms”, she expressed.

UNFPA-Jordan has announced that it will broadcast the first episode of “Asher Taash” starting from Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 on Aramram Media and Rania Kurdi’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Every Tuesday after that and for 12 consecutive weeks, a new episode will premier discussing a different SRH topic.

UNFPA advocates for the rights of youth, including the right to accurate information and their rights to accessing high-quality sexual and reproductive services. Once these youth are well-informed and equipped with empowering skills, they are able to protect themselves and make well-thought decisions. More so, they can reach their full potential and take part in the social and economic transformation of their country. Certainly, investing in a country’s youth is a strategic decision that will accelerate its advancement, as they are the parents, teachers and leaders of tomorrow. Only youth are able to break the cycle of poverty while enhancing social cohesion and building a sustainable future for all.