Afghan Justice Institutions Raise Awareness of Women’s Rights via Radio

An actor performs at the Supreme Court’s radio studio, recording his voice for a radio drama promoting women’s rights.
An actor performs at the Supreme Court’s radio studio, recording his voice for a radio drama promoting women’s rights.
USAID's RLS-Formal
Radio drama promotes the Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Afghanistan
Recently, the Supreme Court of Afghanistan and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) have joined forces and taken to the airwaves to pro-mote greater public awareness of women’s rights.  
 
Supported by USAID’s Formal Rule of Law Program, the radio drama ‘Qanon Qanon Ast’, or ‘Law is Law’ entertains listeners, and also increases awareness of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women and the importance of gender equality in Afghani-stan. 
 
The radio drama’s storyline centers on men and women talking at a shoemaker’s stall at a bazaar, and discussing social problems caused by women’s rights violations. They discuss baad, the prac-tice of settling disputes by exchanging girls, domestic abuse and the exclusion of women from education. 
 
One character (Saranwal Jan) reminds another, “If someone com-mits violence against a girl or women, he can be jailed for up to three months… the law has punishments for such people.”
 
Deputy Justice Minister (Sayed Ahmad Hashemi): “One of the im-portant rules for government in a society is to provide valuable ser-vices to its people, including raising awareness of the laws. A government and its people are two equal partners in ensuring a peaceful and prosperous society.” 
 
 “Access to justice is an issue of bilateral coordination between justice sector institutions. This radio drama demonstrates this,” said Sayed Ahmad Hashemi, Ministry of Justice Administrative Deputy.
 
The drama will air nationally in primetime in late October 2013. Support of the radio drama’s production highlights the twin USAID priority goal of Afghan government leadership of reforms and focus on gender issues.
 
Radio is the most frequently-accessed medium of communication in Afghanistan, a poor country with widespread illiteracy. For mil-lions of Afghans, radio programs are the prime source of enter-tainment, education and news. According to a survey by the Asia  Foundation, more than three out of four Afghans listen to radio regularly.

Last updated: July 21, 2014

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