From breaking barriers and challenging taboos, to facing widespread restrictions, Afghan Witness looks at the experience of Afghanistan’s female journalists since the Taliban’s takeover.
© Afghan Witness, 2023, Kabul, Afghanistan via Afghan Witness
For many women in Afghanistan, choosing to enter the media world is not just a career decision but a revolutionary act against cultural taboos and repression. Journalism serves as a beacon of hope and defiance in places like Afghanistan.
Mariam – not her real name – was inspired to pursue journalism by her aunt, a distinguished journalist in Afghanistan. "I wanted to become like her, a well-known, respected person," Mariam expressed with pride. She saw journalism as a crucial medium for societal transformation, reflecting that it was a way "to convey the voices and problems of people to relevant authorities and the world."
This is a sentiment echoed by another Afghan journalist, Khujesta. She tells AW that she believed her work symbolised the breaking of “cultural taboos” and Afghanistan’s progress: "My work as a woman journalist was crucial – the media plays a key role in every society, not just in Afghanistan. It was vital to show the positive developments in Afghanistan.”