The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) stands in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan calling for a peaceful transition of power with respect to the rights of everyone, especially women and girls.
IAWRT calls upon the international community to ensure that the rights of women and girls are respected, with special regard to women journalists and media professionals.
Threats and attacks against women journalists and media professionals, including our colleagues and fellow members in Afghanistan, have increased sharply in recent months since the withdrawal of allied forces from Afghanistan. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), there is a long list of journalists who have received death threats, driving many underground or to leave the country altogether.
The declining security situation poses a serious threat to the achievements of the last two decades regarding freedom of expression and threatens to push back decades of hard-won progress for women and girls who are now terrified of a return to a repressive past under the Taliban.
“There are many journalists and female social activists whose lives hang in the balance and whose stories may never be told as the Taliban takes over – once again. These are the brave women who challenged the status quo fighting for fundamental rights, but have been left behind while terror strikes,” says IAWRT President Violet Gonda.
IAWRT, therefore, calls on the following:
- The current leadership must guarantee the safety of women journalists, media professionals, and activists in Afghanistan.
- Women’s organizations around the world should join in solidarity to call for the freedom of women journalists, media professionals, and activists in Afghanistan.
- The international community should immediately facilitate visas for Afghan journalists and media professionals, especially women and their families including elderly dependents and minor children.
- In light of the rapidly deteriorating situation at the airport and in the city, there should be protection provided for Afghan civilians being airlifted – from their homes till they reach the airport terminal building.
- The international community must continue its engagement in brokering peace in Afghanistan.