BALKH: Against the backdrop of repressive policies towards women in journalism across the country, female journalists complain of the dire circumstances they have to put up with due to the Taliban.
In a conversation with Afghan Peace Watch (APW), female journalists talked about the existence of high-level threats posed by the Taliban and not even feeling safe at home.
The journalism profession for women in Afghanistan has never been easy, primarily because the opposition is rooted in misogynist culture and common tribal traditions in Afghanistan.
The Taliban’s return to power effectively meant no more women in journalism. From the Taliban’s point of view, the presence of women outside the house is forbidden, let alone working in public.
Anisa (pseudonym) is a journalist who has worked with various local and national media in Balkh province for five years. From hosting radio shows to field reporting, she had held a range of jobs. Currently, however, she has to remain at home.
Anisa says that to reach the position that a good reporter deserves, she had endured a lot of suffering and fought against the typical misogynistic status quo.
According to her, all her efforts and sufferings vanished with the Taliban coming into power.
Anisa adds that she knows dozens of female journalists and media workers who are now at home as prisoners.
She continues to talk about the existence of high threat alerts from the Taliban and that she does not have peace even at home.
Mozhda (pseudonym) told APW that the news reporters of one of the local radio stations in Kunduz province experienced the same fate as Anisa. “Because of my profession, I am always blamed by my family members because I have caused them worry,” she laments.
Mozhda is forced to bear all the challenges because she has no choice.
Thousands of Afghan women and girls are enduring the same fate, and perhaps there are even more heartbreaking stories that need a suitable space to be revealed and addressed – unfortunately, not possible in current Afghanistan.