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Unemployment biggest challenge for women journalists in Afghanistan

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 27 November 2023, 9:32 IST
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Kabul: The Afghanistan Women Journalist Association (AWJA) recently conducted a survey to assess the situation of women journalists in Afghanistan over the past two years. The findings shed light on the numerous challenges faced by these journalists, with a significant majority highlighting unemployment as their most pressing issue.

A Major Hurdle for Women Journalists

Meena Habib, the head of AWJA, revealed that 45% of the survey participants identified unemployment as their most significant challenge. This statistic underscores the critical need for addressing the employment concerns of women journalists in Afghanistan.

Poverty and Lack of Information Access

Beyond unemployment, the survey exposed other hurdles faced by women journalists. Approximately 5% of participants expressed concerns about the poverty of women journalists, while 10% highlighted the lack of access to information as a significant challenge. These findings emphasize the multifaceted nature of the difficulties encountered in this profession.

Media Organizations Urge Taliban Support for Women Journalists

In response to the survey, media-supporting organizations have called on the Taliban to provide comprehensive support to women journalists. Taj Mohammad Ahmadzada, a member of AWJA, stated, "We call on the Islamic Emirate to help women as much as it can in the fields of education, work, and facilities." This appeal reflects the collective effort to advocate for better conditions for women journalists.

Double Standards and Limited Access

Women journalists in Afghanistan expressed concerns about facing an uncertain future and the challenges within their working environment. Hajar Jafari, a journalist, highlighted the issue of double standards, noting that security forces often restrict women's entry into conferences. Marriam Madadi echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the difficulties women face in accessing proper information during press conferences.

Impact of Taliban Rule on Media Outlets

Under the Taliban regime, the media landscape in Afghanistan has undergone significant changes. According to Khaama Press, at least 52% of visual media outlets have ceased operations in the past two years. This decline in media outlets underscores the challenges faced by journalists in the current political climate.

Press Freedom Decline and Journalist Restrictions

Since the Taliban's takeover in August 2021, press freedom in Afghanistan has taken a backseat. Journalists now operate under various restrictions imposed by the Taliban. These limitations further contribute to the challenging environment for media professionals in the country.

Post-Political Change: Soaring Unemployment Among Women Journalists

Local media reports indicate that after the political change in Afghanistan, 94% of women journalists have become unemployed due to increased restrictions on their work. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for action to address the adverse impact on women journalists.

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(With ANI inputs)


First published: 27 November 2023, 8:28 IST