National Journalist’s Day and narratives of female journalists in Afghanistan

17 Mar 2024
5 Minutes
National Journalist’s Day and narratives of female journalists in Afghanistan

At the  National Journalists’ Day, a number of female journalists in Afghanistan say that the Taliban often prevent them from attending news conferences.

Khadijah Meizai (pseudonym), one of the journalists in the private televisions of Kabul city, in a conversation with the reporter of Peace Window, says that the main problem faced by female journalists in Afghanistan is the lack of access to information.

Ms. Mizaei emphasizes that members of the Taliban group often prevent journalists from attending news conferences.

He says: “One of our big problems is not having access to information that there is gender discrimination in this field. Even if we get information, it is not something that we need; It means that we cannot obtain the information with full details and first hand.”

Nasreen Ahmadzai (pseudonym), another journalist in Kabul city, says that when collecting information, the officials of the Taliban group do not cooperate with women and do not come to share information in most of the press meetings.

Mrs. Ahmadzai added: “The situation of providing information for women has become very challenging and difficult. The problem of working for women has increased tenfold. I stand at the gates of government agencies for hours every day, no one gives me information; Because I am a lady. They say, “Go and relax your male colleague.” What should I do when I don’t have a male partner? The situation is intolerable. When I call the Taliban officials, they tell me to calm down your male colleague. This is very difficult. I don’t report to the office for days.”

Soheila (pseudonym), another journalist in Daikundi Province, said that the situation of female journalists is difficult and worrying and she says: “When I go outside to prepare a report, from the issue of my clothing to the case that I want to portray, I have to be in the group’s opinion The Taliban should be rejected and many of them will be censored and the whole story that needs to be told will not be told. “Access to information is very difficult.”

He emphasized that the process of informing in the Taliban period has changed in general and the media and journalists are no longer looking for reactive issues due to the restrictive environment, and for this reason, most of the media work in most provinces is focused on normal activities and reflecting the plans of the Taliban authorities.

Nadia Rasouli (pseudonym), another journalist, says that female journalists in Afghanistan face many problems such as inappropriate behavior, anti-feminist views, false customs and security problems.

Ms. Rasouli added that Afghan women make up the majority of the media audience, and for this reason, women play an important role in providing information. He says that women reporters in the media reflect the voices of different strata of people; But according to him, the low presence of women in the media has had negative effects on the content, quality, effectiveness and universality of media activity.

He emphasized that the media play an important role in strengthening freedom of expression, human rights values and the accountability of government officials. According to Ms. Rasouli, the presence of women in the country’s media is low and those women who work in the country’s media are facing many problems.

According to Mrs. Rasouli, the lack of access to information, security problems, self-censorship due to threats and fear of the consequences of publishing facts and legal challenges in the government of the Taliban group are common problems of journalists in Afghanistan, and these problems cause women journalists to be victims of violence and forced to leave duty.

Ms. Rasouli asked the Taliban government to pay serious attention to providing professional training for female journalists and increasing job opportunities and creating a healthy work environment so that female journalists do not become victims.

Haider Mohammad Nazari, one of the journalists, says on the occasion of National Journalists’ Day that the media and journalists are facing many problems and these problems should be addressed by the government.

Mr. Nazari added that economic problems, lack of access to information and non-promulgation of the Law on Public Media are one of the basic problems of journalists and these problems should be addressed by the government so that they can provide timely information.

Seyed Rashid Kashfi, another journalist in Kabul, criticized the lack of access to information and asked the government of the Taliban group to ease the access to information and provide better freedom of expression.

Fariba Ahmadizai (pseudonym), one of the journalists, says that media work in Afghanistan has always been accompanied by problems and challenges, and now the lack of access to timely information has become one of the serious challenges for journalists.

Ms. Ahmadzai asks the Taliban government to provide better conditions for the free activity of media and journalists and the free circulation of information so that journalists can carry out their duties and missions in the right way.

Islamuddin Ahmadi, another journalist, says that despite the many problems in the field of information in Afghanistan, but; Journalists continue to do their duty so that the voice of information in Afghanistan is not silenced.

Mr. Ahmadi demanded serious attention from the Taliban government in the field of information in Afghanistan and said that the Taliban group should provide extensive support to the country’s media.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of the National Day of Journalists, the Afghan Journalists’ Center has said in a statement that the media and journalists in the current year in the country are facing severe restrictions in terms of the level of freedom and enjoyment of their fundamental and legal rights, and their rights have been widely violated.

In this announcement, it is stated that the situation of freedom of media and journalists in 1402 in Afghanistan is deteriorating and in the last 12 months, the pressure on the media and journalists and their threats have continued with more intensity than last year.

In this announcement, the Afghan Journalists Center said that in the last 12 months, it has registered at least 139 incidents of violation of the rights of media and journalists, including 80 cases of threats and 59 cases of arrest of journalists.

This center said that this year, the managers of two local radio stations were sentenced to one year in prison by the Taliban on criminal charges and “collaboration with foreign media and espionage” and they are currently serving their sentences.

According to the report of the Afghan Journalists Center, the Intelligence Department and the Ministry of Public Prohibition and Prohibition of the Taliban directly and indirectly, through arresting, threatening and intimidating journalists, have been involved in suppressing the media and freedom of expression this year.

In this report, it is stated that, in addition, this year restrictions on the media and journalists were increasing in a number of southern and southeastern provinces, and “some local Taliban officials took unprecedented and public measures to suppress the media.”

In the report of the Afghanistan Journalists Center, it is stated that despite the efforts of the Ministry of Information and Culture of the Taliban to deal with media violations through its special commission, this commission has not had any concrete success in improving the situation due to the power and pressure of the intelligence representatives and the popular order of this group. And even in some cases, it has caused violations of the rights of journalists and media

On the other hand, Zabihullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Taliban group, wrote on his X page on the occasion of the National Day of Journalists that journalists are the representatives of the connection between the nation and the system, and asked journalists to work within the framework of Islamic values and national interests of the country.

Mr. Mujahid added that he expects journalists to be more diligent and hardworking considering media principles and this group always supports the media and journalists in the country.

This is despite the fact that in the past two years, journalists have always complained about the lack of access to information and say that the Taliban group should cooperate with journalists in this regard.