A woman sits in front of a microphone, her left hand is around a cup of tea

A Radio Station in Afghanistan Addresses the Issue of Violence Against Women

February 18, 2020
Through news, dramas and talk shows, the station lets women know about their rights

In Kunduz, Afghanistan, where religious and cultural conservatism reinforces rigid gender roles, Kaihan FM creates programming focused on women’s issues and women’s rights.

Kunduz Province in Northern Afghanistan has a heavy Taliban presence. In 2015, the Taliban seized control of the capital city for two weeks before withdrawing under threat from a NATO-backed offensive. Kaihan FM and other women-owned radio stations were ransacked and threatened by the Taliban at the time.

In August 2019, Kunduz suffered a major attack that killed at least 15 civilians and wounded more than 75 others.

Kaihan FM broadcast its first feature news stories – Negative Impact of Violence Against Women and Violence and its Consequences in the Society in December 2019. These feature stories focus on two women, Bibi Hawa and Pari Gul, who have been physically and mentally tortured by their family members.

Two radio dramas were also produced and broadcast in December. The first radio drama addressed women’s rights in Islam and the second radio drama examined how violence against women negatively affects society.

Kaihan FM also produced and broadcast its first live talk show about women’s rights, titled Women's Decision-making Rights. This talk show featured famous civil society activist Malalai Sahd, who is from Kunduz province. The live talk show was based on Sahd’s life, her struggles, her achievements, the problems that she has encountered and why she decided to be a civil society activist. She is considered the voice of Kunduz women.

In January, Kaihan broadcast two radio dramas on marriage, the first highlighting the problems of the child marriage and the second examining the high cost of dowries.

The station also broadcast three episodes of its talk show, focused on the legal rights of women, challenges for women in Kunduz and eliminating violence against women in Kunduz. Habiba Gulestan, a social activist in Kunduz Province who is well known for her work in women’s rights, was featured on a talk show called, Major Challenges for Women in Kunduz.

Another talk show featured Najiba Arabzada, a famous schoolteacher in Kunduz. She discussed how to eliminate and reduce violence against women, negative traditional customs that create violence and negative changes that violence brings to women’s lives.

Kaihan FM Radio is a beneficiary of a small media grant under the USAID-funded Rasana project.