‘The Exchange’ Characters: Farida & Munira, Explained: How Did They Claim Victory In A Male-Dominated Society

“The Exchange” is a 2023 series on Netflix that revolves around the complicated lives of two extremely strong women, Farida and Munira. The drama highlights their lives at the Kuwait Stock Exchange as they work for the Bank of Tomorrow. Coincidentally, both of them are cousins, but that doesn’t stop their rivalry. From the very beginning of the series, Farida and Munira had been looking for several ways to belittle and challenge each other. It was pretty clear that the duo had a loving bond at some point, but growing up, Munira had to face a lot of discrimination from her mother, who often compared Munira to Farida. Farida had been an excellent math student, and Munira could never match her in terms of academics. Apart from that, she had been discriminated against based on her color and dressing style. All these factors had been enough for Munira to start to hate her cousin, and when Farida started working at the Bank of Tomorrow, the duo would often fight with each other despite all their achievements. Speaking of their jobs, both Farida and Munira had been more talented than any of their male colleagues, but people often underestimated them since they were women. Despite all their differences, Farida and Munira managed to gain importance in the company and successfully complete projects that added value to the Bank of Tomorrow. The series highlighted the overbearing pressures that women had to deal with in the 1980s. Moreover, they compiled a series of real-life events and implemented them in this drama to show how both Farida and Munira worked together as a team and marked their names in history.

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Farida had been married at a very young age, and years later, she’d had a daughter, Jude, with her husband, Omar, but things didn’t turn out the way she had wanted them to. After 13 years of marriage, Farida realized that Omar had been demotivating and torturing her into giving up on her dreams and work. So, after gathering up her courage, she finally decided to divorce him, and this time Farida’s parents, Adib and Nojood, also supported her. She was a smart, independent, and extremely confident woman. But her husband Omar prohibited her from working since he felt that women are not supposed to work after marriage. After the divorce, Omar refused to pay Jude’s tuition fees until she was transferred to a public school. Farida had no choice but to compromise until she found a stable job. Luckily, Farida met her cousin, Munira, at a charity event and learned that she had been working for the Kuwait Stock Exchange. One day, Munira approached her to find out the inside details of a company called Kazima Shipping. Omar used to work for the same company, and Farida managed to get Munira the information that she needed by sneaking into his house. Farida had been tenacious about her dreams, and her strength had made it possible for her to divorce her husband and make sure that her daughter got the education that she deserved.

Farida and Munira agreed to help each other out, but here Farida played a different trick. All the information about Kazima Shipping had been directly transferred to the head of the Bank of Tomorrow. In return, she wanted Amir to give her a job. She landed a job as a clerk at the same bank and worked alongside Munira. Even though things had been difficult with men, Farida didn’t give up and managed to win the hearts of her bosses. She struggled with motherhood and couldn’t understand Jude’s feelings at times, but when the right time came, she sent Jude back to the British school and established the lost connection between her and Jude. People knew Farida for her beauty, but nobody considered her to be a smart woman, and it’s pretty clear that Omar also agreed to divorce her because she wanted to work and earn her livelihood. Every time she tried to work hard, Omar would demotivate Farida and blame her for her daughter’s studies or behavior. The young Farida used to get manipulated pretty easily because she was naive and dependent. But this time, things worked out for her since Farida knew that she was capable of inspiring other women who lacked support and confidence.

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A part of her confidence is thanks to Munira since she had been guiding her throughout the whole series. Even though the cousins had hated each other, they grew to love each other by the end. Munira had always been an independent woman. She lived her life according to her own rules and didn’t get manipulated by her mother. From childhood, Munira was often compared to Farida, and her parents wanted her to get married at a very young age, just like Farida had. But Munira never wanted a man to control her life since a married woman is supposed to be a homemaker, and that’s what society thought at that time. Munira would dress up in bold and attractive outfits that her family hated, but she stood strong with her views and purchased luxurious items that only men would buy. Munira’s job at the Bank of Tomorrow became a beacon for her to follow, and she had been dreaming of becoming the Portfolio Manager. Currently, Saud is the manager, and he knew that Munira had the right potential since she has been extremely good with numbers and facts. Even though she didn’t have the right information to always support her perspectives, her instincts were pretty strong, and she always worked according to them. Surprisingly, Munira’s instincts would always work out, and her predictions turn out to be right all the time.

Even though Saud had always supported her, he had ulterior motives and wanted to marry Munira. But Munira knew that marrying Saud would be a huge mistake since her life would be ruined completely. According to societal rules, a married woman is not supposed to work at her husband’s workplace. Saud started to try to force her into marriage, but Munira stood strong in her views and didn’t give in to any pressure. When the Bank of Tomorrow had to execute the right plans to convince Ms. Sabiha, the CEO of Alpha Real Estate, Amir and his team couldn’t convince her to sign a contract with them. But Munira had easily convinced her and didn’t belittle her. She knew that Ms. Sabiha had to have been a smart woman and knew how to cover up for all the losses that had faced her company. Instead, Munira only assured her that the Bank of Tomorrow would help her to generate new capital that might be beneficial for future purposes. Even when the stocks fell, Munira did not lose her cool and took decisions wisely. This ensured her the position of Portfolio Manager, as Saud had been removed from his position. Munira became the only lady to conquer this position and became an inspiration to those women who were yearning to become independent.

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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