As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, it’s important to reflect on the role of technology in empowering women and amplifying their voices. Short-form videos have emerged as a powerful tool to celebrate women and showcase their diversity. Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Likee have become a hub for women to share their talents, knowledge, and experiences with the world. One such woman who has used short-form video platforms to step out of her comfort zone and overcome obstacles in order to pursue her passion for cooking is Amal Boukataya, better known as Chef Amal on social media.
Chef Amal is a Tunisian-born chef who moved to Qatar 12 years ago. She is a mother of three and a former university English teacher who made a career shift to pursue her passion for cooking. After five years of training and international development, Amal started sharing her recipes, tips, and tricks on her private accounts on social media. Later, with the support of her family and friends, she decided to showcase her passion by going public with an aim to inspire and motivate women to pursue their dreams and build on any ideas they may have including starting their own business.
Through her content, Amal showcases her diversity in cooking and pastry-making, and she also shares her fashion and beauty style. She believes that being presentable and showcasing her best look from all angles is essential to change the mindset of people who think that chefs are usually messy and unkempt. In addition, her content is also focused at empowering women who work from home and are trying to build their small businesses. She shares her experience, knowledge, and tips on how to build a successful business. By providing educational content, Amal believes that she is contributing positively to society by encouraging women to follow their dreams.
As Amal’s following grew, she started to receive recognition from other chefs and influencers in the industry. She began being followed by famous chefs such as Chef Manal Al Alem, whom she had grown up following the recipes of. Chef Amal was also followed by international chefs like mac_baker, a Russian chef, who appreciated her talent and creativity. By interacting with such chefs, she was able to find several online communities of women that were passionate about cooking and baking and she continues to interact with them to share and learn from their experiences and knowledge on social media.
Last year, Amal started using short form videos, where she gained a huge following, with some of her videos going viral and receiving up to 1 million views. After being discovered on social media, Amal received much recognition and realized that several new-found opportunities were coming her way. She sculpted the FIFA World Cup trophy from chocolate during the FIFA World Cup tournament and was later was approached for interviews across leading television outlets in the region including the likes of Al Jazeera TV, Qatar TV, On-time sports TV, and Al Kass sports channel, which gave her a huge boost in promoting herself and her content. Such opportunities helped enrich her life and inspired her to continue creating and sharing her content.
Being empowered by short form videos, Chef Amal said, “I believe short form video content has unique advantages for female creators, as it allows them to express themselves in a way that is both impactful and concise. If the content is well-prepared, well-aimed in a storytelling way, with high-quality video and shot in a creative way, it can be presented with a message in a sharp, straight-to-the-point way.” She believes that it is such content that resonates with her female audience because it is informative, inspiring and relatable.
Short-form video platforms such as Likee in recent times have become a hub for women to showcase their various talents and skills. Women from different backgrounds and cultures can use these platforms to showcase their creativity and inspire others. Short-form videos have become a tool for women to break stereotypes and showcase their best selves. Women can use these platforms to share their knowledge and experiences, also connect with other women who share similar interests and experiences and build supportive communities. These communities can be an additional source of motivation and inspiration for women who are trying to pursue their dreams
Chef Amal advises young women who aspire to become content creator to be themselves, be different, be creative and innovative, and always try to add value to their communities. They should ensure that their content is always educative and beneficial to others. Women should also be consistent and persistent in creating their content, and they should always aim to improve their skills and knowledge. According to Amal, “The top three qualities for a successful female are determination and persistence, continuous self-improvement, and a confident, independent attitude. These qualities are essential for success in any field as they have helped me achieve my goals and dreams.”
Chef Amal’s journey on social media is a testament to the power of determination and hard work. It also showcases the role of short-form videos in celebrating women’s diversity and empowerment. In the future, we can expect female creators to continue to use such platforms to share their passions and inspire others. This International Women’s Week, let us continue to support and empower women to pursue their dreams and create a better future for themselves and everyone.