Afghanistan: Media Black Hole

We at the Afghan Women’s Mission (AWM) often ask ourselves, why aren’t the major newspapers showing the American people what’s really happening in Afghanistan? AWM co-directors James Ingalls and I recently returned from a trip to Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan’s (RAWA) projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan. While we were there we saw a lot of things that the U.S. media simply ignore.

Afghan Women’s Mission has found that:

* Warlords still dominate Afghanistan

* Outside Kabul, women are still fearful of being in public spaces

* Refugees returning from Pakistan find misery in Afghanistan

* Women’s unemployment is rampant

* Rural women’s healthcare is dismal

* Education for girls is dismal

* Women have no political freedom

* Independent media are under constant threat

Why is it these stories aren’t getting covered? A lack of coverage has led to an enormous drop in our donations – our projects for Afghan women and girls are being scaled down because donors assume Afghanistan is free, democratic and independent. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Here’s where we need your help: reach out to influential media organizations and tell them what you think.

We’ve made it possible for you to reach ombudspersons and public editors at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Newsweek, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other media outlets on our site. Tell them that you want to read news about the real situation in Afghanistan. Ask for these organizations to put reporters on the ground and strive for accurate coverage.

Your support will help shine the light on the continued oppression of women and girls and set the record straight on the reality of Afghanistan.

Sonali Kolhatkar is Co-Director of the Afghan Women’s Mission and host of KPFK’s Uprising. The Afghan Women’s Mission works closely with RAWA to improve the medical, educational and rights conditions of women in Afghanistan.