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Female journalists seek secure environment to work

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: Female journalists and media workers claim that the working condition was worsening for them.

“Different challenges have hampered the work of female journalists,” deputy culture minister Sayyeda Mojgan Mustafavi said Saturday in a meeting held by the Voice of Afghan Women Journalists (VAWJ), a non-government organ working for support female journalists.

Tens of female journalists from four zones of the country expressed challenges, asking for government and media supporters’ help.

Mustafavi termed security challenges and social taboos as the main restrictions for female journalists’ activities, saying that “role of women in the media is symbolic and unnoticeable.”

She marked the role of female journalists “very important”, stressing women can ensure their right through media outlets.

Masooma Haidari, journalist in Herat province said that totally 100 women work in media in Herat, Farah, Badghis and Ghor provinces.

“Girls have the lowest role in the media of Farah, Badghis and Ghor provinces due to lack of security and job immunity,” Haidari said.

She termed insecurity, unsuitable traditions, inappropriate work environment, and discrimination of media runners as the major challenges before female media workers.

“Unfortunately media owners exploit female announcers as a source for their publicity to attract more watchers.”

She pointed out that women work in hazardous situation in the media as they receive threats by Taliban and sometimes are harassed by their employers.

Taiba Noori, another journalist from Kandahar province said that female journalists face different challenges there.

She added that Taliban call women’s work a taboo, adding that girls working in the media always receive threats by insurgents.

“Insurgents’ threat disappoints female media workers as some of them have left their jobs and others continue working despite restrictions,” she mentioned.

She highlighted that female journalists work for low privileges (5,000 up to 8,000 Afs salary) without transportation and overtime payment.

“The girls do not have job immunity either and every time that the administrations want, they can fire their employees,” Noori said.

The female journalists asked the government to provide job opportunities for women in media, hold professional workshops for capacity building and ease their work environment.

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