In the context of the humanitarian and political crisis in Afghanistan, with the direct consequence of drastically limiting women’s rights, it is time to meet those who, with insane courage, promote women’s freedom and expose the abuses of women and girls.
Sediqa Sherzai is a journalist and founder of Radio Roshani in the conservative city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Despite receiving countless death threats from the Taliban, the burning of their headquarters, Sediqa and her team continued their mission to expose the abuse of their peers and promote women’s rights.
In all these years, Sediqa Sherzai spoke about the importance of education for women as the surest way to overcome the condition of family slaves (father and husband) and to gain financial independence. He encouraged women to seek medical care (provided by female doctors) and to oppose the marriage of their daughters at an age that has nothing to do with marriage but with pedophilia. Many men want to marry 10-11 year olds to be sure of their virginity. He also condemned primitive practices considered “Islamic traditions”, such as genital mutilation of girls, the ban on nursing for women, the habit of some men to take a second or third wife only for reasons of sexual entertainment or, on top of all cruelty, burning or stoning women in the name of “honor crime” that allows men to kill their daughters or wives if they have been raped or have committed adultery.
Sediqa has been accused of lying to women in the community and that her shows create tensions in the traditional family because she encourages women to rebel against their husbands.
She also repeatedly pointed out the weak solidarity of women, even within the same family, who, due to lack of education and the desire to obtain the favors of their husbands, do not cooperate to make their situation easier.
The persecution of educated women with public jobs during this period makes journalists the main target of the Taliban. There are already testimonies of women journalists fleeing the cities to defend their lives.