Women lead charge in Afghan media

| 06/07/2011

(Reuters): Farida Nekzad has faced threats of kidnapping, acid attacks and a plot to blow up her apartment since she founded her first news agency in Afghanistan seven years ago. Members of the Taliban e-mailed some of the warnings; others arrived over the phone. One caller warned she would be murdered and disfigured so horrendously that her family would not be able to recognize her body. But the mother-of-one, whose most recent project is a news agency that spearheads coverage of the problems that Afghan women face, is undeterred.

Wakht, or 'Time' in Nekzad's native Dari, is one of a handful of majority female media outlets springing up across a country where women's voices often go unheard.

It has seven female reporters and three male journalists and operates across 10 provinces. Nekzad, who has start-up funding from private donors and hopes to become self-supporting through advertising within 18 months, aims to expand from text reports to multimedia ones.

"In 30 years of war, women and children are the ones to suffer the most … but they are not given any attention and have no media coverage," Nekzad told Reuters, referring to decades-long violence sparked by the Soviet invasion in 1979.

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Category: World News

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