Female news anchors ‘not allowed’ to broadcast in Afghanistan amid Taliban crackdown


    As the Taliban once again reasserts its iron grip over the country, the militant group has issued a crackdown against hundreds of female journalists. Scott Lucas, Editor of EA Worldview and foreign policy expert, told Express.co.uk about the impact of the Taliban regime on women in the media.

    He said: “There is a prominent news channel in Afghanistan with a female anchor, she continued to broadcast just after the Taliban went into Kabul she wore a hijab.

    “But she interviewed a Taliban spokesman, and soon after that interview she was no longer allowed to broadcast, she was no longer able to operate as a journalist, she fled for her own safety.

    “If you have a high profile case like that just think of the many people who aren’t high profile – what they face on a day to day basis.”

    Mr Lucas’s comments follow as Shabnam Dawran, a female anchor for the Kabul-based Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) claims the Taliban ordered her to go home.

    Ms Dawran, who was wearing a hijab said in a video: “I went to RTA but they told me that the regime has changed, you are not allowed, go home.”

    Speaking at a Women in Journalism event at Dumfries House, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, sat down with BBC journalist Yalda Hakim, who recently interviewed a Taliban spokesman on air.

    The Duchess of Cornwall said: “I’ve been reliably informed that in 2020, there were 700 female journalists working in Kabul.

    “Today, there are fewer than 100. With the loss of 600 voices, the experiences of countless Afghans will remain untold.

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    “Let’s do all we can to support, promote and, crucially, listen to the brave female journalists of Afghanistan, whose work puts them in danger every single day.”

    During the Taliban’s rule from 1996 to 2001 women were prevented from going to work or school.

    Progress was made when the militant group was out of power with 3.2 million girls attending school in Afghanistan in 2013 – up from 50,000 in 2001, according to Unicef.

    Mr Lucas added: “There were a lot of Afghans who did get political space, who did get cultural space, got social space, especially women, especially members of the LGBT community, especially in this case gay men who were at imminent risk, from groups like the Taliban, you were able to get NGOs that could operate on the ground.

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    “You were able to increase education, for many girls through primary secondary level and even up to university, there were good things happening on the ground when the Taliban were forced out.”

    Since the Taliban’s takeover footage has emerged from several universities, showing female students hidden behind curtains.

    The foreign policy expert added: “Many people are in hiding, especially women, journalists, educators, members of NGOs, we have got reports of beatings and even executions.”


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