In 2011, two dozen female journalists in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan, joined Radio Paiwand, a new station focused on addressing critical issues facing women. The radio station was created with support from U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry under the U.S. Ambassadors Small Grants Program to Support Gender Equality (ASGP), the radio station's mission was to “timely disseminate information, reflect facts, promote civic culture freedom and strengthen trust-building between the government and citizens.” It remained in operation until August 14, 2021, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
The day after the Taliban took control of Bamyan Province, their soldiers returned to Radio Paiwand to search the premises for the firm, creative, and diligent professional women journalists who gave democracy a boost. The Taliban soldiers also destroyed or carried off the station’s equipment. But they had fled. They remain in hiding as the Taliban search for the house by a house. So, they live in fear now.
The Taliban captured, detained, tortured, and killed female activists and journalists in Afghanistan in recent months. Notably, 11 female activists were arrested by the Taliban recently in Bamyan Province.
Five female journalists and their families (21 people) were referred for a P2 visa by a US citizen who worked with USAID and supervised the program. For the U.S. to begin processing their case, they will need to arrange and pay for their travel to a third country.
They will need at least $1,000 per person to make the trip to Pakistan, which includes the cost of the entry visa, ground transport, food and lodging.
These journalists and their families have already sold most of their household possessions and used up their savings, having lost their source of income. If these journalists and their families remain in Afghanistan, they risk starvation in addition to the death threat.
Your contribution will help save these women’s lives and help them, and their family members start a new life in a safe place.
We would appreciate any donation you are willing to provide. 100% of all donations will go directly to the female Afghan journalists and their families we are helping.