Najiba Ayoubi joined IAWRT after speaking at the 2015 Biennial confernece held in New Delhi, India, about the deteriorating situation for media women in Afghanistan. She worked to gather members and establish a chapter from then onwards.
Work on establishming the Afghanistan IAWRT chapter began in 2016, with a group of women working in radio, television, and press.
Afghanistan’s media women have a 100-years old history that began with Ershad al-Nuswan in 1921. It was the first women's magazine produced by the women of Kabul. The chief editors were Alef Re and Roh Afza Khanum. Since then women in media have experienced different stages of ups and downs but media in general was effectively silenced during the regime of Taliban in Afghanistan (1996-2001)
Afghan media has flourished over the past 17 years. A recent survey reveals that around 2000 media outlets have been functioning in Afghanistan with an estimated 12,000 working journalists in the media industry out of which 2,000 are women.
Free media and freedom of expression are some of the greatest achievements of this recent period. Even so, the media still faces serious challenges. Many fewer Afghan women than men work as journalists, but female Afghan reporters and editors are increasingly making their voices heard.
The IAWRT Afghanistan chapter will provide good opportunities for Afghan female journalists to exchange views and share experiences with the world’s media professionals.
In 2018 the chapter received support from Internews for a multi media project profiling the careers of Afghanistan media women women, looking at how they started to work in Afghanistan media, what they have achieved, how they faced and overcame what is an extremeley challenging environment. The project aims to find out what they think about the future for Afghan women journalists and what their role will be in Afghanistan.
The chapter and the project were officially launched in Kabul in late August, 2018 and the chapter's official inauguration into IAWRT, is scheduled for October at the Uganda regional conference in Entebbe. Board members pictured, right to left : Najiba Ayubi, Amena Mayar, Makia Muneer and Afsana Rahimi