24/10/2002 (UNESCO Kabul) - Afghan
women living in cities and rural areas outside of Kabul can now voice,
share and discuss their ideas and concerns, thanks to "Effat",
a new monthly magazine dedicated to women outside of Kabul. "Effat"
is produced by the "Voice of Afghan Women in Global Media" -
a network of professional Afghan women journalists established in the aftermath
of the Taliban era, with support from UNESCO.
"We seek to actively involve women groups from the provinces in the preparation and distribution of each issue", explains Najiba Maram, Editor-in-chief of "Effat". The magazine thus sets ground for empowering Afghan women to access and participation in the media, both of which were banned during the Taliban era.
The first issue of Effat concentrates on women's life in the Bamiyan province. The issue features articles on health and on education, as well as on cultural practices, on which women in Bamiyan have a strong word to say. "In Bamiyan", explains Najiba Maram, "women play a central role in the preparation of wedding ceremonies for their children. This is quite unique. We wish women in other provinces to know this and maybe learn from it".
Women groups throughout the country will receive copies of "Effat", so as to progressively get an inter-regional dialogue started. A special launch of the first issue took place this week in Bamiyan. The next issue, to be published in November, will feature women's life in Herat.
"Effat" means courage, "the key strength of Afghan women", believes Najiba Maram, that fuels their will and determination to fully participate in the reconstruction of their country.