In Taliban-held Afghanistan, broadcaster airs rare all-female panel on Women’s Day

Reuters | , Posted by Ritu Maria Johny

Afghan broadcaster Tolo News aired a one-woman panel with an audience of women in its studio on Wednesday to mark International Women’s Day, a rare broadcast since the Taliban came to power and many female journalists left the profession or went off- Air started working.

A survey by Reporters Without Borders last year found that more than 75% of women journalists had lost their jobs since the Taliban withdrew foreign forces in August 2021.

With their faces covered with surgical masks, a panel of three women and a female moderator discussed the topic of the status of women in Islam on Wednesday evening.

Read also: United Nations said, Afghanistan is the world’s most oppressive country for women

During the panel journalist Asma Khogyani said, “From an Islamic point of view a woman has rights … to be able to work, to be educated is her right.”

The Taliban last year banned most girls from high school, women from university and barred most Afghan women NGO workers.

Another panellist, former university professor Zakira Nabeel, said women will continue to find ways to learn and work.

She told the panel, “Whether you like it or not, women exist in this society… If it is not possible to get an education in school, they will learn at home.”

Due to increasing restrictions as well as the country’s severe economic crisis, the International Labor Organization said female employment was set to decline by 25% last year through mid-2021. It added that more women are turning to self-employed work such as tailoring at home.

The United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Wednesday called on the Taliban to roll back restrictions on the rights of girls and women, describing them as “disturbing”.

The Taliban have said they respect women’s rights according to their interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan culture, and officials have formed a committee to investigate the alleged issues to work toward reopening girls’ schools. Have done

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