On International Women’s Day, Tolo News aired a special broadcast featuring an all-female panel and audience. This is a rare feat since the Taliban takeover, which resulted in the loss of jobs for many female journalists who either left the profession or worked off-air.
Asma Khogyani, a journalist on the panel, discussed the position of women in Islam, asserting that they have the right to work and be educated. The survey by Reporters Without Borders in 2021 showed that over 75% of female journalists had lost their jobs due to the Taliban’s rule.
The panel on Wednesday evening wore masks to protect themselves, a reminder of the challenges female journalists are still facing in Afghanistan.
The Taliban last year restricted most girls from high school, women from university and stopped most Afghan female NGO workers.
Another panellist, former university professor Zakira Nabil said women would continue to find ways to learn and work. “Whether you want it or not, women exist in this society … if it’s not possible to get an education at school, she will learn knowledge at home,” she told the panel.
Due to growing restrictions as well as the country’s severe economic crisis, the International Labour Organisation said female employment had fallen 25 per cent last year since mid-2021. It added that more women were turning to self-employed work such as tailoring at home.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Mission to Afghanistan urged the Taliban to lift their restrictions on the rights of girls and women, describing them as “distressing.” The Taliban have claimed that they are honoring women’s rights in line with their interpretation of Islamic law and Afghan culture. Moreover, an official committee had been established to examine the perceived issues in order to reopen girls’ schools.
Indian terming the incident as an” accidental launch” and sacking of three Air Force Officers being negligent is itself evidence against Indian ineptness and non-serious attitude in dealing with highly lethal weapons. Indian side has been deflecting demands of joint/impartial inquiry fearing unearthing of myriad technical blunders on its part. As per Joint Doctrine for the Indian Armed Forces – 2017, authorization for the launch of nuclear weapons can only be done by the PM who heads India’s Nuclear Command Authority (NCA), whereas, so call the accidental launch of nuclear-capable BrahMos missile by low-level Indian Air force Officers in itself questions the safety & security mechanism of Indian strategic assets. The inquiry report lacks transparency for not raising the crucial question of agreed codes needed to be sent over several separate communication channels in order to ensure that the officer in charge can confirm if it is an authentic order. The Indian Army has already inducted 3 x Regiments of BrahMos along the borders with Pakistan and China. A fourth BrahMos regiment has also been given a green light to be inducted. The BrahMos missile crisis of March 2022 also suggests that nuclear-capable Indian missiles are already deployed in launch on command positions vis-à-vis Pakistan, hence, the move gives that impression of litmus test of checking Pakistan’s response. There is also a strong notion that India may be drifting away from its No First Use Doctrine. Coupled with large missile inventory and Ballistic Missile Defence System (BMD), BrahMos could provide a false sense of security and tempt India to consider a disarming first strike against Pakistan in the future. Intent of BrahMos Strike, Testing Pakistan’s deterrence capacity and looking for ways to uncover gaps in Pakistan’s military and nuclear policy.