in Afghanistan continue to hear the voice of women. “We are not going up”

by Marianna Grazi

I mean “Begum”, as a noble title. “These are the names of the women of the Maharajas. This name was chosen to sublimate the woman,” he says Hamida Aman, the founder of this radio station where only female voices are heard. The transmitter, born on a very specific day and with a symbolic value, theMarch 8, 2021, stood directly as a symbol of resistance. It is headquartered in Kabul and has 24-hour radio coverage covering more than eight provinces.Inform, educate, empower are the three keywords on which the editorial line is structured. When the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan in mid-August the presence of women is virtually eliminated from the public scene. Silent, covert, brutally oppressed, unheard of, forced into obedient silence, flight or death. A destiny written for thousands of people who in a few days lost rights barely won in two decades of peace. Take away a woman’s voice and you will take away the future of the country. And that is exactly what is happening in the Middle East.

Hamida Aman, founder of Radio Begum

Hamida Aman: “I want to restore the nobility for Afghan women”

“At the end of 2020, when the talks between the Americans and the Taliban began, I felt the change of course,” said Hamida Aman. Le Figaro -. I was very concerned about the fate of my countrymen. I knew that Women would be the first victims – he added – I therefore mobilized my entire network to form the NGO Begum organization for women with the aim of defending, supporting and promoting them. “Radio Begum stopped broadcasting for just one month, and then Record emissions in mid-September, promising the authorities the utmost respect for Islamic dictatorships. “We are not going to give up,” said the founder, who grew up in Switzerland after her family fled Afghanistan. She returned to Kabul in 2001, following the fall of the first regime. “We have to prove it [i talebani] they can not scare us. We have to occupy the public sphere “, he adds, explaining the choice of name for his radio:” I chose it for restored nobility to Afghan womenand in homage to my grandmother, who was so named. “

The radio to learn more

Afghan girls follow the lessons of Radio Begum

Some Afghan girls are following the lessons of Radio Begum

A space where one can talk, but above all through which one passes Ubidden education to the many young girls who have dropped out of school. This place of freedom has become more necessary than ever: listeners can take classes for about six hours every day National Education, from the fifth school year to the last school year. “These are thirty minute modules per level that we set up with an education consultant. As schools are closed, our radio is the only educational tool for girls, explains Aman. In a country where there are 57% illiteracy, The power of radio is very important because it is the most accessible medium. December, comm The Express13-year-old Mursal had said she had started going to the transmitter studio two months earlier to attend lessons in recording these educational programs: “My favorite subjects are Dari, English and Maths. I’m feeling bad since school’s closed“We have removed the studio.” The young woman then addressed the French newspaper to her colleagues: “Listen to this program carefully to take advantage of this unexpected opportunity to learn further”.

The restrictions

After the capture of Kabul, Aman managed to get permission from the Taliban to continue sending, but the Restrictions They are difficult: Music prohibited if not the traditional, the content of the programs are limited to the will of the government and the Range of autonomy is very limitedbecause the broadcaster stopped advertising and forced the founders to launch a fundraiser Hello Ass, to support the daily work. I’m on the radio twelve employees (9 journalists and 3 technicians) and all aware of how happy they are: it is “a privilege,” some of them say, while many women, including public servants, have not returned to work since the arrival of the Taliban. The positions between males and females are well separated, as authorities have requested, although Begum’s staff worked with their male colleagues on a youth radio station before August. Now, however, there is a floor to separate them and a large opaque curtain covers the entrance of the women’s office.

Radio Begum-Afghanistan

Radio Begum’s studio in Kabul (Afghanistan), the only female station still in operation

Psychological support

The director of the radio station, Saba Chaman24, is a Michelle Obama fan, she revealed The Expressso much so that she read her book on the air for the benefit of her listeners Ginn, an dari. The transmitter, in addition to hosting and weekly appointments, gynecologists who speak Sex educationIn fact, there are readings for adults as well. In fact, it is enough to remember that in 2016, less than one in five Afghan women (18%) could read and write, compared to 62% of men, according to the former Ministry of Education. One program that the Chaman is particularly proud of is that of providing psychological support to listeners who may call for questions or trust. One episode in particular left a lasting impression on her: an illiterate woman called and told her, “The pharmacist always gives me medicines that have expired. If you could read, you would not. People who have not learned to read are like blind people“This radio is a repository of female voices, their pain and their frustrations,” says Hamida Aman. “My only reason for hope now is to know that I am doing something important in my life to help Afghan women,” he added. Saba Chaman added.

Leave a Comment