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  • Writer's pictureAfghan Witness

The stories of Afghanistan’s women journalists

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.”

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