Editor's Note: Editorials are representative of the views of all Editorial Board members. One or two members will compile these views and write an editorial.
Journalism is important. It allows us to see what is happening in both our neighborhood and around the world.
As many of us have seen, Afghanistan is taking some pretty serious damage right now. When the United States announced our troops would be leaving Afghanistan, we saw the Taliban take back control of Kabul. This is extremely dangerous to many people, but especially female journalists.
Female journalists are a direct threat to everything that the Taliban stands for. Female journalists in Afghanistan need us to listen, help and support them in whatever way is possible.
One of the female journalists in Afghanistan, Beheshta Arghand, did something very brave in regards to the Taliban. Arghand interviewed a representative of the Taliban, meaning for the first time in the history of Afghanistan, a female journalist sat down with a member of the Taliban live on television. This is a big and groundbreaking feat Arghand should be able to be proud of.
Instead, Arghand had to leave home. Reports of Taliban threats to the news media started occurring. Afghanistan became a much more dangerous place for Arghand to be, so she had to leave. Arghand is not the only female journalist to share this sentiment either. A sad similarity rings between her and many other female journalists.
Being a female journalist in a place where the Taliban is in control is almost a death wish. The Taliban has been angered by these women speaking out against them, and will make ruthless attempts to try and stop them. One woman shared her story but could not publish it under her name in fear of repercussions. She shared a heartbreaking story of fear, having to leave behind her entire life in hopes to remain alive. This woman also was in fear of the Taliban killing her, even after relocating to her uncle’s home much farther away from the city. These women are in danger on a daily basis.
A similar theme rings through all of these women’s stories: fear and exhaustion from running for their lives. These female journalists are vital to this story we are seeing unravel. Knowing exactly how much fear these women are living in is something we will likely never experience. Which is a blessing in our case, but we need to support these women in harrowing circumstances.
Fleeing from your home in hopes to save your own life is a terrifying feat that we hope most of us do not have to experience. Unfortunately, these journalists are living this nightmare daily and their lives have been turned upside down. Applying for visas to other countries in hopes that they can restart their lives somewhere else. Being forced to leave everything you have ever known for the safety of your life sounds absolutely awful, but these women are living it on a daily basis.
These women’s stories show us just how important journalism is. Without journalism we would not be able to hear these stories and reach out to help and support these women. Journalism is important to these journalists and they are reaching out, writing, even though it is risking their lives. Journalism is serving the public in an often thankless way — and sometimes persecution comes with it. These women are willing to risk everything to keep writing and to save their lives. We owe them support and help in their time of need.