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Ghazni: Female journalists complain of harassment

Ghazni: Female journalists complain of harassment

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Sep 13, 2017 - 14:43

GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): A number of female workers in southern Ghazni province complain social taboos, harassment and insecurity impede them from working for local media outlets.

Shakila, one of the female journalists in Ghazni, has worked for three years for a local radio station. But now she has to stay at home. She told Pajhwok Afghan News many challenges including threats over the phone from unidentified men forced her to resign her job.

“Most of our people think negatively about girls. They believe girls or womeninfo-icon do anything they want after leaving homes. Some people sent me love messages and other harassing texts,” she charged.

Not only journalists, but all female media workers in Ghazni are faced with challenges and security threats, Shakila said.

Shamila is another journalist and radio compare complaining of harassment. She said some people harassed her through calls from unidentified numbers while others tried to defame her. However, Shamila vowed to continue serving the people of her province.

“I hear many negative things against myself on a daily. This annoys me a lot, but I ignore obnoxious calls that disturb my focus on work. Every young man's first expression is that he loves me, which is ridiculous,” she said.

Khadija, a journalist with a private television in Ghazni, said that harassment would not change her goals or prevent her from working.

“I love my profession and it encourages me to tolerate and ignore propaganda,” she said, adding people would not stop harassing her even if she stayed at home. Therefore, she preferred to continue her job.

Khadija said that her husband motivated her a lot. “As long as my family supports me. I would not think about other people’s views,” she observed.

Female journalists and media workers were generally under security threat in Ghazni, but no one publicly spoke about the issue, she said. Khadija believed government support might provide them with a safe work environmentinfo-icon.

A civil societyinfo-icon activist in Ghazni City, Farzana, alleged even some government figures tried to harass female workers over the phone. When women reject their demands, the government officers create problems for them.

However, she did not name anyone. She said negative traditions also prevented women from working. “When a woman gets famous. many men try to find her telephone number and contact her. It is a bad culture,” she remarked.

Mohammad Arif Noori, head of the Ghazni Journalists' Association, confirmed the challenges gacing female workers. He said many female media workers had to quit due to harassment.

For female journalists, insecurity is one of the major challenges. Social taboos represent another big problem for women, according to Noori, who asked the relevant organs to discharge their resopnsiblities.

Currently two private television channels and seven radio stations are operating in the province. A total of four women are working there. In the past, 15 women were employed in the provincial media sector.

Provincial Information and Culture Director Mohammad Bashir Moahmmadi also aclnowledged there were certain problems haunting Ghazni women.

He has discussed the issue with security officials to help provide an enabling environment for female workers and take to task the individuals creating problems for them.

Female media workers in other provinces, including in the capital Kabulinfo-icon, also frequently grumble about harassment.

mds/mud

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