MTV’s award winning Shuga series about sexual and reproductive health are coming to Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa. International drama series run in 61 countries reaching out to over 720 million households.
The series are framing conversation about sexual education, touching upon such issues as teenage pregnancy, AIDs and child sexual exploration that remain a strong taboo in many societies. The project is supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The drama is a big hit in Nigeria, where it is about to open its 5th and 6th season, mostly focusing on the challenges that face adolescent girls.
Speaking about launching new series for Egypt, Georgia Arnold, Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation said: ‘We know that storytelling has the power to catalyse positive social change, and have seen that first-hand in Africa with series like MTV Shuga. By going global with MTV Shuga and bringing this format to new countries, we are committed to challenging misconceptions and inspiring our audiences to talk openly and honestly about their sexual health, while also mobilizing them to take action to access the services they need.’
The Egyptian version of the series is planned to be produced in Arabic, thus making it first series of the drama in a language other than English. It will also be aired in cooperation with local media network and Arab-broadcasters around Egypt. The Egyptian series will mostly be focusing on family planning.
Women make 49,47% of Egypt’s 91 mln population. However sex remains a taboo, with many women getting to know about sex only a few days before the actual marriage ceremony. It is often presented painful and disgusting. In 2010 Egyptian government dropped sexual eduction classes from school’s agenda. Egypt has the world’s second-highest rank for googling the word ‘sex’ in the web.
According to World Health Organisation’s survey in Egypt in 2000, 97% of married women experienced female genital mutilation or FGM. UNICEF’s data above shows a slight decrease in numbers to 87% in 2017.