Taking place on the eve of International Women’s Day, the online event featured readings of letters from Afghan journalists in hiding from the Taliban and an interview with Afghan journalist Zahra Joya
Hosted by the Mirror editor and Women in Journalism chair Alison Phillips, the event featured four letters written by female Afghan journalists in hiding, read aloud by female journalists and presenters in the UK.
Their letters told of their anger at being excluded from society and covering the crisis in the country, the poverty they face by being banned from working and the frustration they feel towards the West for allowing the situation to continue.
Zahra Joya, an Afghan journalist who fled her country to the UK as a refugee and now continues to report on Afghanistan from abroad, gave an interview with Phillips after reading her own story.
Explaining the current situation of “sexual apartheid” in the country and how this is affecting female journalists, Joya said: “Although it has never been easy to be a woman and be a journalist in Afghanistan, it is now much more difficult to be even an ordinary woman.
“Being a journalist is a far-reaching wish.”
She also commented: “The presence of women in media outlets is very important, especially in these crisis situations.”
Later on, BBC journalist Yalda Hakim joined from Lviv in Western Ukraine to talk about her experiences in Afghanistan and how the Yalda Hakim Foundation is helping with the humanitarian effort after the fall of Kabul.
Speaking about those still working in Afghanistan, Hakim said: “The press is being intimidated, there is a crackdown, there are all sorts of strange media laws… and yet… there are female journalists out on the street reporting, asking tough questions, interviewing the Taliban.”
“These are the journalists who ensure that… we hold the right people accountable”, she added. “They are the backbone of our storytelling… so more than ever, they now need us not to look away.”
You can rewatch the event in full here.