“We hope women position to be safe in peace talks,” Habibi

“We hope female journalists’ position to be safe in peace negotiations,” an in-charge to Afghan Female Journalists’ Association Ms. Shafiqa Habibi said.
This year, ‘International Press Day’ will be held while we are going forward to peace talks, a move that can be a good message to the people of Afghanistan, she added.
In an exclusive interview with The Kabul Times she said we hoped freedom of speech for journalists particularly those female journalists work in media to be safe as a redline in peace talks.
About Afghan Female Journalists Association that has been established by her, Ms. Habibi said the association has been founded in 2005 and registered in the ministry of justice in 2011.
She added the association is the first one in Afghanistan that is national and is not related to any foreign country.
The association works on two objectives, first, female journalists capacity-building and second, to defend their rights, she went on to say.
According to her, the association has 500 members and is operational in 14 provinces.
Despite some problems, the association could hold many workshops in the capital Kabul, after which many of participants could be teachers in their provinces, Ms. Habibi continued.
Pointing at some trainings held by the association, she said that last year, as many as 13 female journalists have been trained leadership and management, 5 of whom have been chosen as young leaders.
She added we worked on a project for six months and sent many female journalists to eight TVs to investigate on gender equality.
Unfortunately, the result was negative and women presence was not visible in media which is a great challenge, she stated.
When the team asked media in-charges, they were replied that there are two reasons why women presence is not visible in media, first, women capacity is lower than men and second, security problem causes them not to be able to work overnight, Ms. Habib said.
Unfortunately, there are some other problems before female journalists in media such as difference in their salary with men, sexual harassment, discrimination among women and men, etc. and the association is making effort to address them, she said.
To tackle the mentioned problems, we asked the ministries of labor and social affairs and information and culture to investigate about the media contracts and policies that why a number of them act with women like this. Ms. Habibi added.
About the association’s future plans she said we planned to work on many TV, production and direction programs that has not been begun so far.
Q: Did any organization assist with the association so far?
A: No organization has so far assisted with the association. Finland is the only country that has financially supported us to hold workshops and our second donor is InterNews Network. It is merit to mention that Ms. Shafiqa Habibi has been one of the successful anchors in Radio Television of Afghanistan for 35 years.
Shukria Kohistani

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