NATO in Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s First Female Radio Station
Following the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan,
women have been finding ways to express themselves. Some have been successful through media.
Rabia Balkhi is the first female radio station in Afghanistan. It was set up in the northern
city of Mazar-e-Shariff by a Canadian NGO in 2003.
Mobina Sahilkhail Andesh runs the station. She says much of its programming is about
educating women. ”The subjects we include in our programs
for listeners are aimed at increasing women’s awareness of social, legal and political issues
in Afghanistan. Every Afghan woman should understand these areas.”
The presenters will often discuss the problems faced by women in Mazar. The topics could
be related to family, marriage, custom or social issues.
Caller:” I have a problem with my family, I want to continue my studies but my family
won’t let me.” Presenter:”Ok, thank you sister.”
Caller:”I need your advice.” Presenter:”Thanks for your call, I will
share your problems with our programme’s legal advisor and then he will respond. Thanks
for calling us.” In recent years this radio station has attracted
lots of listeners, not just women but also men. Who take it in turns to DJ.
“We’ve achieved a lot; most of all is that we’ve got women and families to take
part in our programmes. They share their personal and legal issues with us and the listeners.”
Afghanistan still remains a very conservative society.
Not all girls have got access to education. The Taliban has recently forced some girls’
schools to close. Those women who do manage to choose their
own path in life have had to work hard for it.
“If a woman wants to work in media, if she doesn’t get trouble from her family, she
will for sure from her relatives or friends. But, we don’t have to be scared of such
things because every woman who’s working in media has to fight against such problems.”
This is Sayed Mansoor in Kabul, Afghanistan for the NATOChannel.