Written By: Tabasum Nasiry
The BBC World Service has released a list of one hundred influential and inspiring women of 2023, which includes the names of Hossi Ahmadi, a television host, Shamshad, and Samia Tura, the founder of the “Friendship Afghanistan Network.”
Hossi Ahmadi, a journalist and host at a private media outlet, in an interview with Khaama Press, mentioned that after completing her higher education in the fields of law and political science, she had spent seven years working in various segments of the media industry, including anchoring, political programs, news reporting, and programs advocating for women’s rights.
Ms Ahmadi added that people’s perceptions of media in Afghanistan vary significantly, and this motivation has led her to establish a foothold in the media despite challenging circumstances so that women, too, can be agents of change.
According to Hossi, the restrictions on journalists and media activities in Afghanistan are numerous, including the use of masks for female presenters and constraints on television discussions and debates, making it challenging for reporters, especially female journalists.
She emphasized that women and girls should have access to freedom and education, and she urged the global community to support Afghan women symbolically and take practical action.
This list, published by BBC on Tuesday, includes prominent figures worldwide. It features individuals like Amal Clooney (human rights lawyer), Michelle Obama (former First Lady of the United States), Janan Dagdagan (Turkish scientist and inventor), Olena Rozvadovska (children’s rights advocate from Ukraine), and Sarah Saqa (Palestinian general surgeon).
According to BBC’s report, Hossi Ahmadi is one of the few female presenters who continued her work in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover in August 2021. Despite security concerns and social resistance against women in the media, she has persevered in her media activities and faced limitations due to her interviews and questions posed to the authorities of the Taliban administration.
Similarly, Samia Tura, a refugee rights activist from Afghanistan who established the “Friendship Network” to provide shelter for refugees and ensure access to education for affected students, is also included in BBC’s list of one hundred influential women.
BBC noted her role as an advocate for girls’ access to education under challenging circumstances and mentioned her collaborations with domestic and international organizations, including the United Nations agencies, the World Bank, the Malala Fund, and the Save the Children Foundation.
The Friendship Network organization was founded in 2021, following the rise of the Taliban administration, to provide essential resources and information to both domestic and foreign refugees in Samia Tura.
It’s worth mentioning that the BBC selects one hundred women every year who have significantly impacted essential events and recognizes those who have achieved significant success as influential individuals.
Last year, Fatema Amiri, one of the survivors of the terrorist attack on the Kawsar Educational Center in western Kabul, Tamana Zarayab Paryani, a women’s rights activist, and Zahra Joya, the founder of Rokhshana Media, were chosen as influential women by BBC in 2022.