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Women in Afghanistan

April 24, 2011

As a presenter of the ground-breaking Afghan Woman’s Hour, Zarghuna Kargar became a friendly voice and confidante for countless female listeners living under the Taliban – here she shares their tales with the Telegraph


Afghan Woman’s Hour, which ran until last year, was launched in January 2005 with the aim of providing women in Afghanistan with a radio show that would cut across all tribal, social and economic boundaries.

Through my work on the show I learnt about the dark period that the women of my country had endured during the Taliban era, while I was living abroad in Pakistan and later in Britain. I heard how families had felt pressurised into giving away their daughters to older men, how women were treated as if they were no longer of any use because they couldn’t work or get an education.

For a decade their faces had been hidden behind the walls of their houses and their voices had never been heard, but I decided to give these women a voice by airing their stories. Since the fall of the Taliban the situation for women has to an extent improved in Afghanistan: there are more than 60 women in parliament, and women can once again leave their homes to work or study.

However, scratch beneath the surface and stories such as the ones I tell below are still being repeated all over the country every day. By telling these stories I want to give an insight into what it’s like to live in one of the world’s poorest and most dangerous countries.

For the full article click here for the Telegraph website

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2011 18:39

    If ever an indicator was needed that we are making good progress in Afghanistan.

    Excellent story.

  2. April 24, 2011 21:42


    You might also be interested in reading another story I published on Zarghuna Kargar’s work on my blog:

    Marco Leitão Silva
    Editor, Afghan Countdown

  3. Shadowman permalink
    April 25, 2011 05:37

    A very inspiring woman!
    Hopefully, in the next few years, attitudes to women will soften there (given the millions of children now attending school).
    In ten or twenty years time, I am sure that the status of women in Afghan society will be much better.

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