Feature: Afghan female journalist defies security threats, launches news channel

2021-04-19 13:35:57 GMT2021-04-19 21:35:57(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

by Abdul Haleem

SHIBERGHAN, Afghanistan, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Like many other parts of the militancy-plagued Afghanistan, residents in the northern Jawzjan province have been facing security threats as the Taliban outfit and other militant groups are active there.

In particular, it hasn't been easy for the local women to take part in social activities.

But Neda Sadeq Oghlo has defied security threats and she was brave enough to establish the radio-television channel Ghazal (means "loving poem") in Shiberghan, the capital city of Jawzjan province, two years ago.

"The outcome of the ongoing war and violence in Afghanistan is nothing more than destruction of the country and killing of people. All of our people including me have to play a pro-active role in ending the war and bringing about peace by every possible means including media," said Oghlo.

The ambitious 32-year-old believes that highlighting the benefits from peace through media outlets is essential to educating the Afghan people.

With some 20 workers including eight women and girls, the Ghazal radio-television channel also broadcasts music, news and recreational programs.

Oghlo said working as journalist is difficult in a conservative and conflict-battered country like Afghanistan, where radical militant groups such as Taliban and the Islamic State (IS) group are active.

She was shocked by the report that unknown armed men gunned down four female journalists from a local TV channel in the eastern Nangarhar province a couple of months ago. The perpetrators are still at large, she said.

Taliban militants, according to locals, are active in eight out of Jawzjan's 10 districts. However, the provincial capital Shiberghan is relatively peaceful.

"Attack on female journalists is a matter of concern to me. I have no choice but to continue my job on a mission to expose problems of the Afghan society ... and to work for peace," said the female journalist.

"In the country's ongoing efforts towards peace, Afghan women's rights and their achievements should be safeguarded and guaranteed," Oghlo noted, adding she will do her best to protect women's rights in the country.

The ongoing militancy and conflicts, according to an Afghan human rights organization, have claimed the lives of 39 civilians and left 40 others injured over the past week.

"On the way to office I am afraid of attacks and kidnapping, but I won't give up my job as a journalist so as not to encourage militants to continue violence as a tool to force newspersons to quit duty," a reporter at the Ghazal TV channel who called herself Khalida said. Enditem