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Afghan female journos strength 49pc up this year

Afghan female journos strength 49pc up this year

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Mar 08, 2020 - 18:04

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Center for Protection of Afghan Womeninfo-icon Journalists (CPAWJ) on Monday said the number of professional female journalists rose to 1,139 in Afghanistaninfo-icon this year --- 49 up compared to their strength last year.

CPAWJ is a group of Afghan media women activists established in cooperation with Reporters Sans Frontiers and Worldinfo-icon Organization for Reporters Advocacy (WORA) to defend women journalists’ rights in societyinfo-icon and at workplace.

The CPAWJ on Sunday released an updated figure about women journalists on the occasion of its third anniversary. The new figures show 329 media companies are active in Afghanistan including 74 television broadcasters, 163 radio channels, seven news agencies, 85 printed media outlets \including 17 daily newspapers, monthly magazines, websites and three media supporting bodies such as the Committee for Safety of Journalists, media supporting body NAI and the Union of Women Journalists.

In total 7,577 people work in these organizations, including 1,741 females. These women include 1,139 working journalists.

The report says most of women journalists are in Kabul, Balkh and Herat provinces respectively. The MOBY media group leads in terms of female staff as their number reaches 150, followed by the state-run Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) with 140, Ariana private broadcaster 50, Banu TV 47, Maiwand Radio and Television 40, Khurshid TV 40 and Zan TV has 35 women staff.

The Center worked for six months to collect these figures through direct meetings with media runners, telephone conversations and internet contacts.

The CPAWJ for the first time released figures of women journalists in March 2019, interviewing 323 media personnel. That report said that 1,696 women were working in media from whom 764 were professional journalists. But the recent survey shows the number of professional women journalists has risen from 864 to 1,139.

The Center’s new research says Kabul tops with 108 media outlets and 4,940 staff that include 1,080 women workers and 816 professional journalists.

Balkh province in the north stands second after Kabul in terms of having more staff. In Balkh, 200 people are associated with media outlets. They include 79 women and 42 professional women. Herat comes third that has 294 media workers including 74 women, of whom 37 are professional reporters.

Nangarhar province in the east has fourth place with 356 media workers, 48 women and 18 professional women.

Kandahar in the south has 229 media personnel with 45 women and 18 professional women journalists. The last two provinces have recently witnessed an increase in the number of women journalists and media workers, but still women are afraid of working in the media because of security issues.

The previous report said 153 people worked in media with 29 women that included 10 professional women journalists, while in Kandahar 117 people worked from whom 19 were women and six were professional women journalists.

According to the findings, there is female journalist in Logar, Paktika, Nuristan, Nimroz and Uruzgan provinces because of security issues and social problems.

Just a few women have been working in administration sections of media companies in these provinces.

Maidan Wardak was among provinces where no women worked in media two years ago, according to the Center’s research, but now women work as journalists and media workers in Kabul’s neighboring province.

Security issues negatively impacted women journalists in Kunduz province in the north.

The previous survey shows 46 women journalists and media workers were working for 13 media outlets, while now 48 women are working in Kunduz since the situation improved.

Increasing insecurity in Herat, Balkh, Kunduz, Faryab and Farah provinces affected journalism during the past two years, with media runners accusing Talibaninfo-icon of not allowing women to work in the media.

The Center’s survey also focuses on challenges reporters face. It finds economic problems and budget shortage as most challenging problems for journalists especially for women journalists after war and violence. Social problems and lack of access to information are also main challenges.

The Center for Protection of Afghan Women Journalists is one of active bodies defending the rights of women journalists. It was established with cooperation of the Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) and Committee to Protect Journalists on March 7, 2018 with the aim of defending the rights of women journalists.

The Center’s main office is in Kabul city and has active agents in 20 provinces as the first network of women journalists.

The Center has so far done effective jobs for supporting of women journalists such as an investigative report on the condition and figure of women journalists in Afghanistan, the charter of harassment prohibition and women’s promotion in media, launching of campaigns for the charter, a declaration on the peace negotiations and the role of women journalists in this process and launching of campaigns for the declaration in 20 provinces.

Hassina Safi, Minister of Information and Culture, said the CPAWJ’s report was important and it showed the Afghan women were progressing.

She told women journalists, “You have the pen to raise the voice of those women journalists who live in provinces and are faced with multiple problems.”

She said women should be consulted before and after the peace negotiations.

During today’s event, a video clip of First Lady Rula Ghani was also played at the gathering.

Rula Ghani said Afghan women enjoyed religious rights and had attained their social and economic values and said their achievements would not be compromised over at the negotiating table.

She added religious scholars will discuss with the Taliban the status of Afghan women in peace talks and no decision will be taken on peace talks without the presence of women or behind closed doors.

Rula said the Taliban should not think they would stop women from engaging in social and economic activities.

pk/ma

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