Where are the stories in global media reported by Afghan women?

This post was created during the exploration phase of the project, view the latest information on this challenge.

What is your journalism challenge? What problem are you working to solve?

More than a decade of foreign aid during the US-led war in Afghanistan gave birth to a lively and large Afghan press corps. However, women often get left out of the equation, meaning they suffer from a shortage of job opportunities, training and mentoring. There are currently no Afghan women reporting for the foreign news outlets in Kabul. I want to give Afghan female reporters the chance to tell their stories to a global audience.

How would solving this problem help journalism?

It would provide the world with a more nuanced story. In Afghanistan, this often means the untold side of the story: tales of remarkable bravery but also unbelievable cruelty and injustice — as told by its own women, not by Afghan men or foreign reporters.

Who is tackling a similar problem and how is your approach different?

Since the Taliban was ousted from power in late 2001, dozens of institutions and Western governments have provided training and job opportunities for Afghan journalists. However, almost none have centered exclusively on women, nor provided a global platform for female journalists. I envision a Kabul-based collective of Afghan women who send multimedia news reports and features to the world.

What are the immediate questions that you are pursuing now?

I am looking at what kind of training is possible for a group of selected Afghan female reporters (this is not going to be easy in a war zone – many organizations do not want to travel to Afghanistan, and finding a suitable place also poses a challenge). I am also trying to get a sense of the existing outlets – preferably multimedia – that are potentially available for my project.

What are your next steps?

I am looking for collaborators. These can be trainers, organizations or outlets. I seek a place where the stories can be featured, such as a media outlet with global reach. I also believe it is important  to lay the foundation before all foreign troops leave the country by the end of next year. It would be invaluable for the world to read, hear and see stories on what a fading foreign presence means for Afghan women, as reported by Afghan women.

You are viewing the exploration phase of a year long effort to resolve a challenge to journalism. Learn more about this challenge in the result phase of the process.