BBC News Afghanistan in Pashto and Dari has launched a weekly radio programme, Women (Mermen in Pashto, and Zan in Dari). The 30-minute show will go on air at 19:00 Kabul Time in Dari and at 20:00 in Pashto (14:30 and 15:30 GMT) every Friday.
Presented by Shazia Haya in Pashto and Aalia Farzan in Dari, the programme is aimed at women and girls – especially those in rural areas – in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Alongside offering them a platform to voice their views and questions, the new show will also deliver content that informs and educates, empowering the listeners to make informed decisions and choices.
The programme, which talks about women’s rights, healthcare, education, household economy, parenting, children’s health, as well as entertainment, sports and politics, opens with women-focused news from around the world. It discusses with experts the week’s main subject item and includes permanent slots on motherhood and childcare; inspiring stories about successful women from Afghanistan and around the world; and an arts & culture section dedicated to latest works by female writers, artists and musicians.
Shazia Haya and Aalia Farzan are BBC journalists who moved to the UK following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Shazia says: “This programme for me means giving a voice to the voiceless. I hope Mermen will help empower the Afghan women to have better lives – and I feel really privileged to be part of such a journey.”
Aalia adds: “I want our new radio show, Zan, to serve as a window to every Afghan woman’s home. A window which opens every week to bring her the kind of knowledge that is really useful for her, and also to invite her to speak out about the things that worry or frustrate her.”
The new radio programme will be available via FM and shortwave frequencies across Afghanistan and will be available on demand via the websites bbc.com/pashto and bbc.com/persian/afghanistan, and the BBC News Pashto and BBC News Dari channels on Facebook.
BBC News Afghanistan service in Dari and Pashto is part of BBC World Service. (AIB)