In­side Zan TV

Une chaîne de té­lé­vi­sion par et pour les femmes

Vocable (Anglais) - - Édito / Sommaire -

Une té­lé pour les femmes.

Bien­ve­nue sur Zan TV, la pre­mière chaîne af­ghane 100% fé­mi­nine. Créées et ani­mées par des femmes, ses émis­sions abordent sans ta­bou le quo­ti­dien et les droits des Af­ghanes. Ac­cès à l’édu­ca­tion, à la politique, ma­riages for­cés, vio­lences… Dans un pays où plane tou­jours l’ombre des Ta­li­bans, Zan TV veut faire évo­luer les men­ta­li­tés.

Af­ter a ci­ty-wide bill­board cam­pai­gn fea­tu­ring a group of young wo­men stan­ding with arms fol­ded, the wo­men’s me­dia net­work Zan TV laun­ched in Ka­bul, Af­gha­nis­tan, five months ago, with a pa­nel dis­cus­sion about the right to vote and a Fa­ce­book co­ver photo that read: “We mir­ror you all”.

2. Zan, mea­ning “wo­men” in Ara­bic, is the first TV sta­tion in Af­gha­nis­tan to be made for and run en­ti­re­ly by wo­men. It’s a ra­di­cal ini­tia­tive for a coun­try where the te­le­vi­sion in­dus­try is run so­le­ly by men and where just 16 years ago, jour­na­lism and even ac­cess to edu­ca­tion for wo­men were ban­ned. “We want wo­men to have an ac­tive role in po­li­tics and so­cie­ty,” says Nas­rine Na­wa, 26, Zan’s di­rec­tor of news pro­gram­ming. “We’re em­po­we­ring them to lead in­de­pendent lives out­side the home.”

EM­PO­WE­RING WO­MEN

3. Na­wa’s mis­sion is to train the next ge­ne­ra­tion of fe­male Af­ghan jour­na­lists. Fif­ty wo­men aged 17 to 28 work for Zan; half are qua­li­fied, half are lear­ning on the job. “Ma­ny trai­ned jour­na­lists are jo­bless be­cause most TV sta­tions won’t em­ploy wo­men, so we do. We al­so want to train young wo­men who might not have ac­cess to edu­ca­tion be­cause of where they live or their fa­mi­ly,” says Na­wa.

4. The TV sta­tion was foun­ded by the me­dia en­tre­pre­neur Ha­mid Sa­mar, who saw a gap in the mar­ket when going through do­zens of job ap­pli­ca­tions from wo­men at ano­ther TV sta­tion. The Af­ghan me­dia land­scape is al­rea­dy pa­cked, with about 70 sa­tel­lite TV sta­tions, and com­pe­ti­tion for ra­tings is rife. 5. Zan’s task is to build an au­dience by de­ve­lo­ping cut­ting-edge shows on the is­sues af­fec­ting mil­len­nial Af­ghan wo­men, such as ne­go­tia­ting Is­lam as a fe­mi­nist, re­pro­duc­tive rights, ma­na­ging fi­nances and ca­reers. The most po­pu­lar shows are the Dai­ly News show hos­ted by Ya­sa­min Yar­mal and a week­ly eve­ning show that fea­tures conver­sa­tions with ra­di­cal Af­ghan wo­men such as the po­li­ti­cian and ac­ti­vist Fa­ree­da Ku­chi Bal­khi, from Af­gha­nis­tan’s no­ma­dic Ku­chi tribe. Zan al­so runs a day­time co­oke­ry pro­gramme on how to make spee­dy heal­thy meals.

6. “What makes us stand out is that we talk about eve­ry­thing that has tou­ched wo­men’s lives,” says Na­wa. “Wo­men have been a mar­gi­na­li­sed com­mu­ni­ty for so long in Af­gha­nis­tan. We want to prove they have the po­wer to take con­trol and change their lives, if they want.”

7. For a new TV sta­tion, the ra­tings are im­pres­sive. Ac­cor­ding to Sa­mar, an ave­rage of 90,000 people are tu­ning in­to the mor­ning news pro­gramme.

8. Meh­ria Aza­li, 22, is a jour­na­list and pre­sen­ter at Zan. She is keen to in­tro­duce a strong fe­male nar­ra­tive to the Af­ghan news agen­da and ex­plore is­sues such as un­de­rage marriage, rape and ac­cess to edu­ca­tion. “Du­ring the Ta­li­ban’s rule, wo­men were wan­ted in the home to sa­tis­fy male needs,” she says. “Things have got bet­ter, but rights for wo­men are still ve­ry bad, es­pe­cial­ly out­side Ka­bul. When they watch TV, Af­ghan wo­men don’t see is­sues that af­fect them being tal­ked about. We want to change that.”

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