She may be “Mum” to you but in Australia your mother is still also known by her first name.

For some Middle Eastern men it is taboo to publicly say their mother’s name as it may bring embarrassment and shame. Women become known only as “the mother of her eldest son” effectively leaving a woman nameless after they have children and diminishing her intrinsic value as a whole being.

Some women, for various reasons, choose to give up their surname when they get married but in some countries, when women marry, they are forced to give up their entire name.

The Regional Director of UN Women, Mohammed Naciri, wants people to know it doesn’t have to be that way. “A woman’s name should never be associated with shame or embarrassment – this Mother’s Day, we are reclaiming that space and recognising women for the incredible individuals they are,” he is quoted as saying, cue the #MyMothersNameIs campaign.

“For men in Egypt and in many other countries in the Middle East, there is a peculiar taboo of not disclosing one’s mother’s name in public, lest her name become a subject of shame and ridicule in public forums”

“Over time, her name becomes forgotten, and she’s only referred to as ‘The mother of her eldest son,'” the description continues.

The short film was made in collaboration with BBDO IMPACT in Dubai, the pan-Arabian branch of the BBDO advertising agency.

It closes with an invitation: Post your mother’s name on social media with the tag #MyMothersNameIs.

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