Inside Zan TV: Afghanistan’s first all-female station

From The Guardian authored b

“After a city-wide billboard campaign featuring a group of young women standing with arms folded, the women’s media network Zan TV launched in Kabul, Afghanistan, three months ago, with a panel discussion about the right to vote and a Facebook cover photo that read: “We mirror you all”. Zan, meaning “women” in Arabic, is the first TV station in Afghanistan to be made for and run entirely by women. It’s a radical initiative for a country where the television industry is run solely by men and where just 16 years ago, journalism and even access to education for women were banned. “We want women to have an active role in politics and society,” says Nasrine Nawa, 26, Zan’s director of news programming. “We’re empowering them to lead independent lives outside the home.”

Nawa’s mission is to train the next generation of female Afghan journalists. Fifty women aged 17 to 28 work for Zan; half are qualified, half are learning on the job. “Many trained journalists are jobless because most TV stations won’t employ women, so we do. We also want to train young women who might not have access to education because of where they live or their family,” says Nawa. Zan also employs 10 men to train women in operating cameras and editing film. It posts jobs on its Facebook page, which had an average of 8,000 likes a day in May.”

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