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No female journalist in Zabul, complain residents





No female journalist in Zabul, complain residents

Dec 11, 2017 - 17:34

QALAT (Pajwhok): The residents of southern Zabul province are complaining about the lack of female journalists and say their absence has rendered womeninfo-icon unable to share their concerns.

Freedom of expression and media coverage is considered one of the big achievements of the past 16-years in Afghanistaninfo-icon. But despite spending billions of dollars by the international community since 2001, some parts of the country remain ignored and plunged in multiple problems.

Currently, one state run Radio Television and four private radio stations are active in Zabul, but all individuals employed there are men.

Nabela, a resident of Qalat, the provincial capital, said women made half of the country population and sometimes they faced problems which could only be shared with female journalists.

“There are cultural restrictions which prevent women from raising their voice in a proper way, therefore their issues remain unaddressed,” the 22-year-old said.

“This is a big issue and nobody is paying attention to it, that’s why the women’s situation in Zabul remains unchanged.”

Zar Bibi Sulaimankhel, a member of the provincial council, said she had many times faced with problems which she could only tell to a female journalist.

But she had buried those issues in her heart because there was no female journalist with whom she could discuss them.

She said the Ministry of Information and Culture, journalist unions and media outlets should work on issues that prevented women from working in the field in Zabul.

She said other provinces had the same problem in the past, but their local governments made efforts and resolved it.

Shabana Khushala, head of Khushal Charity Foundation in Zabul, said their activities were not properly covered in the media due to the absence of female journalists.

“Whenever we organize an event, I uninterestingly contact male journalists because I am not sure whether they will come or the participants (which are only women) probably show negative reaction to men,” she said.

She said organs that worked for women’s rights should encourage media outlets to employ female workers as well.

Sadiqa Jalali, Zabul women’s affairs director, said women’s role was important in media like in healthinfo-icon and educationinfo-icon sectors.

She said her department had shared the issue with a number of organizations but failed to elicit a positive response.

“Media gives voice to a societyinfo-icon, it investigates problems and situations and shares them with officials and the worldinfo-icon,” she said. But this voice is unfortunately mute for women in Zabul.”

 “A female journalist is important like a female doctor,” she said. She said domestic media and departments had more responsibilities in the area.

“If female journalists are not employed permanently, Milli Television and other TV channels should at least hire female journalists from other provinces to make reports about women’s problems and present them to the public,” Jalali said.

She said there were many educated girls in Zabul who were to work in the media, but they only needed training and support from other relevant organizations.

Abdul Moqim Halimi, director of Khkula Radio station in Zabul, told Pajhwok that cultural restrictions were the main obstacle for female journalists in the province.

“Women also do not feel safe at workplace which is another reason they do not work in media”, he said.

Halimi said he had hired female workers in his radio station for presenting an agricultural project, but after the project finished, he was unable to keep the female workers due to financial problems.

All media organizations in Zabul agree that female workers are important, but no one takes action for removing hurdles women face in finding a job.


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