Feeling insecure: 50pc female media workers quit in Kunduz
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Women media activists say many challenges such as insecurity have resulted in a 50 percent decrease in females’ presence in local media outlets in northern Kunduz province.
The worsened insecurity, absence of a proper working environment, discriminatory treatment are among main challenges girls and women have to face down in Kunduz, preventing women from working in media.
Karishma Mirzad, publications head at a local radio Cheragh, told Pajhwok Afghan News insecurity and lack of work opportunities for women in Kunduz had become a serious problem.
He said some families weren’t willing to let their girls work especially in media after being threatened by insurgents over the telephone.
“The basic issue is insecurity. Earlier there were 16 girls in our radio station but due to recent insecurities their number has dropped to only three. If the current situation continues, we will also leave.”
Mirzad asked the government to seriously pay heed to the province and ensure prosperity of media outlets and safety of journalists.
Shima Hussaini, Shabnam radio editor-in-chief, said: “Earlier we had 10 girl colleagues; but now we have only four who also come to work with a host of difficulties because on one the hand their lives are not secured and on the other some families try to stop them.”
Parween Rahimi, Khawar local television worker, also deemed insecurity as the biggest challenge. She asked the government to ensure security in the province.
“The recent fighting in Kunduz has narrowed work space for media women, there were 13 girls working with us in the television station; but now there are only two because the security situation has completely worsened.” She also asked the government to ensure security of media outlets and journalists.
Currently 10 radio stations, two local television stations and a national television channel operate in Kunduz. According to these media outlets officials they face financial and security problems.
Shahbaz Sabiri, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) chairman in Kunduz, called women’s role as vital in all fields including media, saying women media activists could more effectively echo problems of other women.
However, she said the recent insecurity had a negative effect on the presence of women in media.
“Earlier about 70 women and girls worked in local media outlets of Kunduz; but now their number has reduced by 50 percent, which is worrisome. If threats and insecurities continue, women’s presence will further reduce in media and in other sectors.”
Meanwhile, security officials said they wouldn’t hesitate from providing any kind of support to media persons especial women.
Brig. Gen. Abdul Majeed Hamidi, provincial police chief, said the presence of women in media depended on their own determination because the security situation had improved compared to the past.
“So far we haven’t received any complaint from media and journalists regarding insecurity or other problem; we are supportive of media and will be.”
The women’s affairs department also said increasing insecurity and the continuation of war in Kunduz barred women from working in government and non-governmental organistaions.
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