The Launch of a Women’s Radio Station in the City of Herat, Afghanistan

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This case study looks at the launch of a women’s radio station in the city of Herat, Afghanistan, in the year 2003. It follows four Afghan women journalists’ struggles in balancing the demands of a highly conservative culture on the one hand, and the objectives of their Canadian journalism trainers on the other. Kamal explains that Media development takes on many different forms in different areas of the world. Rather than being a force for sustaining difference, the media is deliberately employed by media development organisations as a vehicle for challenging unequal gender relations. Women's rights and social justice are promoted in media content, and women's participation is often a precondition for funding for media projects. She…show more content…
This case study looks at the launch of a women’s radio station in the city of Herat, Afghanistan, in the year 2003. It follows four Afghan women journalists’ struggles in balancing the demands of a highly conservative culture on the one hand, and the objectives of their Canadian journalism trainers on the other. Kamal explains that Media development takes on many different forms in different areas of the world. Rather than being a force for sustaining difference, the media is deliberately employed by media development organisations as a vehicle for challenging unequal gender relations. Women's rights and social justice are promoted in media content, and women's participation is often a precondition for funding for media projects. She further argues how it is debatable whether the objectives of some gender and media development interventions are attainable. So, in this case she discusses how, within the conservative but changing norms of post-Taliban Afghan society, a group of Afghan women became the founding members of Radio Sahar (Radio “Dawn”), the first independent women's radio station in Herat, Afghanistan, with the support of a Canadian media development organisation. Kamal presents a relatively extreme case for gender and media development. The media reconstruction process has been rapid and far-reaching, transforming a country that had been under the virtual media blackout of the Taliban regime to having around 50 radio stations, six TV stations, several hundred

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