Afghan female reporters fear increased restrictions

KABUL (Tolo News): A number of Afghan women reporters said the restrictions by the Islamic Emirate against them have increased recently and this situation has made them worry about the future. The reporters said that even in some press conferences held by Islamic Emirate officials they were not allowed to attend or cover the news.
“We went to cover two events; one event was organized by the Kabul governor and the other was by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum. We were not allowed to attend the events,” said Amina Hakimi, a TOLOnews reporter. “Freedom of press in Afghanistan is facing serious restrictions and the continuation of this situation will create big obstacles in the way of reporters, especially female reporters,” said Suhaila Yousufi, a reporter.
The female reporters called on the Islamic Emirate to let them do their jobs and to cover events.
“They should allow us to cover the news and make reports from newsworthy events,” said Nazifa Ahmadi, a reporter. Meanwhile, a number of organizations supporting media and reporters in Afghanistan said restrictions against female reporters are worrisome. “Since the new government has been in power, the number of female media workers has decreased and this is worrying for us,” said Jamil Waqar, an official from the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee.
“We urge the decision-makers of this government to not have double standards against journalists. Female reporters have the same rights as male reporters to attend meetings (press conferences),” said Masroor Lutfi, a media officer at Afghanistan National Journalists’ Union. The Islamic Emirate officials, however, said they do not intend to impose restrictions on reporters and the media. “So far, we have not received any specific complaints that female reporters are facing a problem,” said Inamullah Samangani, deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.
On December 2021, a survey conducted by the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) showed that 40 percent of media outlets were closed since the fall of the former government on August 15, 2021.