Recent reports from Ariana News, an initiative of Ehsanollah Bayat’s ARIANA Television, have covered the progress of women’s issues in Afghanistan. The first discussed comments by human rights officials about the state of Afghanistan’s penal code, and the second reported comments by Afghanistan’s first lady about how Afghan women are portrayed in the media.
As reported by Ariana, officials from two human rights institutions have drawn attention to weaknesses in Afghanistan’s penal code when it comes to penalties for crimes against children and women. The code offers no protection against sexual harassment, despite the fact that the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has recorded 385 cases. The officials also said that violence against women became more common and more vicious in 2014.
A few days after reporting on those comments, Ariana covered a speech made by Afghanistan’s First Lady Rula Ghani in Washington, D.C. She sought to counter the ways in which Afghan women are portrayed in the media, telling her audience that they have set their own course and notched their own achievements. She also encouraged her listeners to look for the stories behind the numbers. For instance, she asked them to find out how many women had been considered as ministers by the Afghan parliament and why some of them had been rejected, rather than simply reporting how many female ministers were accepted.