Afghanistan suffers from a serious lack of press freedom and women journalists are impacted the most

In this update, you can see some highlighted numbers from RSF’s survey on press freedom in Afghanistan since the fall of Kabul. Afghanistan lost over 7000 journalists during the previous year. The ones who are mostly affected by this downfall of media freedom, are women media workers and journalists. The repressive Taliban governance decimated the number of employed journalists.

Since the fall of Kabul and the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the impact on media is unquestionable. During the past year, journalism in Afghanistan has been decimated. RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire emphasizes: ‘Media and journalists are being subjected to iniquitous regulations that restrict media freedom and open the way to repression and persecution. The authorities must undertake to end the violence and harassment inflicted on media workers, and must allow them to do their job unmolested.’

When it comes to the slaughtering of press freedom in Afghanistan, women journalists are subjected to it the most. According to RSF’s survey, in the past year, they disappeared in 11 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Out of 2,756 women journalists and media workers who were employed in 2021, only 656 are working today. This downfall resulted in the percentage of 76.19% of women journalists who are no longer working in their homeland. Statistically, 84.6% of female media workers are working in the Kabul region, and recently women TV presenters were being made to cover their faces while presenting on camera. The excuses for harassing female workers are primarily accusations of ‘immorality or conduct contrary to society’s values.’

The overall statistical report on press freedom in Afghanistan shows that both men and women have lost their jobs since the regime change. A total of 7098 journalists are no longer employed which includes 54.52% of men as well. The number of media outlets also dropped, with 39.59% of them being lost.

This media situation is a reflection of Taliban governance, with the impact of the draconian regulations and the inability to respect Afghanistan’s press freedom law.