Watchdog: Vast majority of female journalists in Kabul no longer working

Watchdog: Vast majority of female journalists in Kabul no longer working
© Getty

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) found a majority of female journalists in Kabul are no longer working due to the Taliban's repressive policies.

A survey by RSF, in coordination with the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists, showed there were 700 female journalists and a total of 1,080 female employees in the news industry in the country in 2020.

Of the 1,080 female media employees, 510 worked for the eight biggest outlets in the country in 2020.

ADVERTISEMENT

Currently, only 76 female media employees from those companies, including only 39 female journalists, are still working.

The watchdog highlighted stories of the Taliban going to media outlets telling them to keep women off the air and not letting women through to cover media events.

“Taliban respect for the fundamental right of women, including women journalists, to work and to practice their profession is a key issue,” RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said. 

“Women journalists must be able to resume working without being harassed as soon as possible, because it is their most basic right, because it is essential for their livelihood, and also because their absence from the media landscape would have the effect of silencing all Afghan women," Deloire added. "We urge the Taliban leadership to provide immediate guarantees for the freedom and safety of women journalists,” 

Some female journalists are still working from home, but many quit their job out of fear of the Taliban. 

The Taliban has said they would be more tolerant of women’s rights during their rule, but few believed them as they continue to not live up to their word.

Almost all privately owned media outlets shut down when the Taliban took control and implemented strict rules.

“Executives and editors with privately-owned media outlets that have not already decided to stop operating confirm that, under pressure, they have advised their women journalist to stay at home,” according to RSF.