Twenty-one Afghan women have enrolled in an adult literacy class thanks to a connection made by Najiba Noshaba, a weekly, mixed language call-in radio program dedicated to Afghan women.
After women in the Imam Saheb district of Kunduz province called the show asking for help with education, the show’s co-host Najiba Khalil contacted the Ministry of Education. Officials then assisted in starting an adult literacy class inside a local home. The Kunduz Provincial Director of Education visited the class and thanked VOA for its role in getting it established.
VOA’s Afghan service produces the show which airs in Dari and Pashtu and encourages Afghan women to take part in civic debates and on-air discussions on issues that affect their lives. The show, which has the motto “no men allowed,” works to create a space where women feel comfortable to speak about important issues.
Rather than focus on macro issues such as women’s rights, the show chooses topics that focus on the challenges that women struggle with in their daily lives including health care, literacy, and economic opportunity. By the third month of the show, the hosts had fielded more than a dozen calls per show from once-improbable places: Uruzgan, Khost, Helmand — the Taliban heartland.