主播大秀

How radio is making women鈥檚 voices heard in Afghanistan

As women鈥檚 rights are severely curtailed, a group of brave female radio producers and presenters remain on air to bring critical health information

Our mission is to make the voices of people heard.鈥
鈥 Nadia Shekib, journalist, producer and news editor at Radio TV Oboor

Women's lives have changed dramatically since the Taliban returned to power in 2021. They are now largely unable to travel freely on their own, to work in most jobs, to go to parks, salons, or gyms, or to pursue higher education.

But women are still allowed to work in the media and in health care 鈥 albeit with restrictions. And media now plays an even more important role in the lives of women in the country, who rely on radio, television and social media for information, entertainment and connection.

The Women鈥檚 Voice radio show is led by women, for women, at Radio TV Oboor, in the remote and conservative province of Badghis in the country鈥檚 far northwest.

In this clip, we hear from Nadia and Nasira, two female journalists working on the show.

We have been conducting Lifeline training with radio stations across Afghanistan, supporting them to reach their audiences with critical information on health, nutrition and other issues as the humanitarian crisis deepens.

In Badghis, we sare supporting these journalists to create programmes about 鈥榬eal life鈥 health problems and challenges that women experience in this remote region 鈥 ensuring women can access information about health issues from wherever they are, in a time when it can be hard for them to travel freely. Women at home can also call in to discuss their concerns with experts.

Women may not have access to television but have access to radio or mobile phones. In remote areas women can access these programmes they can contact us and share their concerns.鈥
鈥 Nasira Mohammadi, journalist, producer and news editor at Radio TV Oboor

Nasira says the two-day Lifeline programme training she received was very useful, as women in this conservative region have little access to health information and services. In the past, she said, the station's programmes were focused on stories of people鈥檚 lives and situations, rather than useful information.

Now that we have learned Lifeline programme making, we make programmes for people [not about people] - programmes that offer solutions for their problems. This can be very helpful and related to them.鈥
鈥 Nasira Mohammadi, journalist, producer and news editor at Radio TV Oboor

Nadia explains the topics they discuss are not provocative 鈥 they focus on pregnancy, mental health and other health issues, making sure to discuss each topic from all angles, including from a Sharia point of view.

We address issues in a moderate way so that it is not problematic for us and also manage to achieve our objectives.鈥
鈥 Nadia Shekib, journalist, producer and news editor at Radio TV Oboor

Despite taking steps to ensure they are within current directives, Nasira and Nadia鈥檚 work remains very challenging, particularly in this conservative province.

Late last year, 主播大秀 Media Action conducted a media survey on Afghanistan to find out how people are accessing media and content since the Taliban returned to power. We found that women have been particularly hard hit by changes to media, both as contributors and as audiences. Our researchers also learned that media has become a lifeline as their main source of news and information, because of the increased limitations on their movement, at work and in education.

Lifeline programmes can be very useful. Many women in districts have not much knowledge, on issues like pregnancy when to see a doctor and self-care during pregnancy. They are facing problems.鈥
鈥 Nadia Shekib, journalist, producer and news editor at Radio TV Oboor

The Women鈥檚 Voice radio show is broadcast by Radio TV Oboor, one of several woman-led and woman-focused stations still active in Afghanistan. 主播大秀 Media Action has been working with Radio TV Oboor and others on Lifeline training and building journalistic skills, through a project funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

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