formerly known as
Womens Liberation Front


Welcome to cryfreedo, formerly known as.Womens Liberation Front.  A website that hopes to draw and keeps your attention for  both the global 21th. century 3rd. feminist revolutution as well and a selection of special feminist artists and writers.

This online magazine will be published evey six weeks and started February 1st. 2019. Thank you for your time and interest.

Gino d'Artali
indept investigative journalist
and radical feminist











                                                                                                            CRYFREEDOM 2019/2020

Part 6 December 2021 and some time back.
This part:
<Women’s rights are human rights. We must defend our rights,> said Koahistani.> An activist in Afghanistan standing ground.

Part 5 November 2021 and some time back.
This part: <Eliminating women means eliminating human beings!> One slogan of Afghanistans Resistence Women's Slogans.

Part 4 October 2021 and some time back
This part: Girls and women keep fighting for education!

Part 3 Sept 30 untill Back to August 5 2021

Part 2 August 27 untill Sept 15 2021: the resistence is becoming bigger and spreading more in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's Women Resistence Part 1
July 7 untill August 18 2021




Part 10
Dec 2021 and some time back

Part 9
Nov 2021 and some time back

Part 8
October 2021 and some time back.

Part 1 to 7









When one hurts or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
Gino d'Artali

and: My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi figlio, non esistono notizie <vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da qualsiasi notizia.> Translated: <My son, there is no such thing as so called 'old' news because you can learn something from any news.>
Gianna d'Artali

30-21 Dec 2021
21-13 Dec 2021
19-13 Dec 2021
11-3 Dec 2021

Message from Gino d'Artali
30 Dec 2021

'This is a time for me to look back at the past year, to what I maybe have contributed to the Afghanistan's Women's Resistence and that one is for sure: I'll not stop supporting them and reporting, deeply believing that their resistence will persevere.
But to be able to do so I need to secure that my equipment is updated/re-placed and as I always said when I worked at refugee camps i.e. sites I did so with the motto <I work with and for children, not for gaining a few coins more>. And so do I for the Afghanistan's Women Resistence. I'll just need to be creative to have this update/re-place thing done!'

Pajhwok Afghan News
Binyamin Barez
28 Dec 2028

<<Farzana sews clothes to support her children’s education.

FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Farzana, who has been earning a livelihood for her family by sewing people’s clothes since the past 10 years, has succeeded in raising a daughter to become a teacher in a religious school and another to become a midwife. Over the past four decades, imposed conflicts on Afghans have not only claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Afghans, but also destroyed the country’s economic foundations and left Afghans in a crisis. The bloody war has also forced millions of Afghans to live in difficult conditions in foreign countries, leading to severe economic hardships and drug addiction.
Farzana, a resident of the capital of western Farah province, is one of those whose husband, a drug addict, went missing about 10 years ago and now she alone earns for her four children.
The 37 years old woman told Pajhwok Afghan News that she had no clue if her husband was dead or alive since his disappearing.
<My husband has been missing for ten years now, I am the one in family to provide everything for children and support them to get education,> she said, weeping over her painful life.
She said that she raised her children by sewing people’s clothes, educated them and now one of her daughters is a teacher in a religious school and another is a midwife.
Farzana said that her third daughter is in fifth grade of school and her son was in fourth grade. She is a graduate of night high school and she also provides literacy classes to local people. She says one of her daughters, Shakiba, graduated from a religious education center, got married and is now a teacher at Hazrat Fatima Madrasa in Herat province. Farzana says her other daughter, Masoma – who studied midwifery at Farah Provincial Hospital – now works with <Samim Private Clinic> in Farah province.
The mother is happy for raising her children educated and said that she would have not been able to do so if she was illiterate.>>
Read more here:

Opinion by Gino d'Artali: From the beginning, when the taliban in August 2021 took over the power again, I knew the Afghanistan's women's resistence, strenght and perseverence will eventually force the taliban to their knees, begging them to become part of the government!

Pajhwok Afghan News
Ahmad Sohaib Hasrat
28 Dec 2021

<<I left school incomplete, but will continue self-study: Raihana.

KABUL (Pajhwok): Raihana, who left education incomplete due to remoteness of her school, says she was highly interested in education and currently she has been teaching children in her house free of cost.
Raihana, 17, was a student in QalaKhel School in QalaKhel village of Koh-i-Safi district of Parwan province. The school in QalaKhel village was established10 years ago and is the first girls’ school in the area.
Raihana says she and her sister were the first girls enrolled in the school and would walk about half an hour from their village Yaqubzai to the school every day, but did not feel tired because they loved to learn. She added that going to school in their area was first experience for girls, while some locals considered it a shame for girls to go to school. <In the early days, all villagers would watch us, people’s unnecessary comments about girls education were disturbing us, sometimes my brothers would tell us not to go to school,> she said.
However, with the passage of time, people would less talk about girls education and more girls of the village joined the school, she added.
Raihana said she was unhappy when she was in eighth grade because her school was not a high school and she could not continue her education. She said that a high school was far from her residence in Koh-i-Safi district and she had to walk for about an hour and a half every day to reach it. She added that walking everyday that distance was a difficult task for her and her family was also not in favor of her to walk that long distance. The girl said that she told her family, villagers and teachers to promote the primary school into a high school, but her efforts did not bear any fruit. Some people did not want the village school to be promoted to a high school because they considered girls education as a shame, Raihana said.
She said she once told the principle of the high school in the district center that she could attend the school one or two days in a week but the principal should help her in her attendance.
<The principle with a lump in her throat told me that she cannot do so because the school was under supervision and she feared corruption charges,> Raihana added. Raihana says that after hearing from the principal of the high school, she realized that her dream of high education would not come true.
<Sometimes I think it’s a dream that I left my education incomplete, but it’s not a dream, it’s reality,> she added.
The girl says she is unhappy with her incomplete education, but is happy that she was the first student of Qalakhel School, which is now open for more local girls to get education.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
28 Dec 2021

<<Afghan women call for rights, protest alleged Taliban killings
Protesters say former soldiers and ex-employees of the overthrown government are ‘under direct threat’.

A crowd of women has marched through the Afghan capital calling for women’s rights to be respected and accusing Taliban authorities of covertly killing soldiers who served the former United States-backed government. About 30 women gathered near a mosque in the centre of Kabul on Tuesday and marched a few hundred metres chanting <justice, justice> before they were stopped by Taliban forces, an AFP correspondent reported.
The Taliban also tried to prevent journalists from covering the march, organised against the <mysterious murders of young people, particularly the country’s former soldiers>, according to social media invitations for the march.
Taliban fighters briefly detained a group of reporters and confiscated equipment from some photographers, deleting images from their cameras before returning them. Since the Taliban returned to power in August, it has effectively banned unsanctioned protests and frequently intervene to block demonstrations against its rule.
The protest comes weeks after separate reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said there were credible allegations of more than 100 extrajudicial killings by the Taliban since the takeover.
<I want to tell the world, tell the Taliban to stop killing. We want freedom, we want justice, we want human rights,> protester Nayera Koahistani told the AFP news agency.
In a statement read aloud by protester Laila Basam, the demonstrators called on the Taliban <to stop its criminal machine>.
The statement said former soldiers and ex-employees of the overthrown government are <under direct threat>, violating a general amnesty announced by the Taliban in August.

The protesters also aired objections to the ratcheting restrictions women are facing under the Taliban rule.
The government issued new guidelines at the weekend, banning women from travelling long distances unless escorted by a close male relative.

<Women’s rights are human rights. We must defend our rights,> said Koahistani.>>
Read more here:

And watch also the video embedded on the same page.

Pajhwok Afghan News
Ahmad Shah Erfanyar
27 Dec 2021

<<Fraud alleged in distribution of aid to poor families.

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some people in seven provinces of the country complain of fraud in distribution of aid to poor families and ask the government to strengthen monitoring in this regard so that the aid reaches the needy. The government does not confirm fraud in distribution of aid, but adds if there is a lack of transparency, people should approach legal sources and claim their rights.
The United States has frozen nearly $10 billion in Afghan capital and imposed other sanctions since the previous Afghan government was overthrown in mid-August and replaced by a new caretaker government. With this, Afghans faced an economic crisis, but various countries and international organizations dispatched aid to Afghanistan and the distribution of this aid is underway in the capital and provinces of the country.

Some residents of Kabul, Panjshir, Badghis, Parwan, Paktika, Khost and Paktia provinces have sent messages to Pajhwok in this regard and a Pajhwok reporter in Maidan Wardak province has spoken to some people. Matiullah, a former secretary of the Kashmiri Qala Development Council in Maidan Wardak, told Pajhwok Afghan News that some people had been helped four times in the past four months.
<But we have not received any help so far,> he lamented.
A resident of Chak district in Wardak province, who did not want to be named, said aid comes to their district but it is being distributed among people who had connections. >Hopefully our voice will reach the authorities.>
He added in his message: <Two days ago, two hundred dollars of aid per house was distributed among undeserving people instead of disabled and orphans>.>>
Read more here:

The Guardian
Matthew Weaver
Dec 27 2021

<<Afghan ex-BBC journalist stranded for months due to Home Office scheme delays.

An Afghan former BBC journalist who managed to flee the Taliban has been stranded in a refugee camp for months because of delays to a resettlement scheme promised by the UK government.

Mudassar Kadir* is the only one of 14 former BBC employees to have escaped Afghanistan since the Taliban took over in August. The other 13 remain in hiding in fear of their lives.
Kadir, who also spent time working for the World Bank and the former Afghan government, had hoped he and his family could begin a new life after leaving Afghanistan, but since escaping in early October with the help of a US charity, Kadir and his wife and two young sons have been stuck in a refugee centre on the outskirts of Dubai. The Kadirs are grateful to the United Arab Emirates for the safe haven and are being well looked afte, but they are prevented from straying more than 100m from the building and the UAE will not accept asylum applications. Kadir is exasperated by the UK government’s repeated refusals in response to his request for help, and he still lives in fear of being sent back to Afghanistan where his work for the BBC has made him a target for the Taliban.
<The UK should have a duty of care to me and my family. My life is at risk because I have worked for the BBC. The UK government knows this but they have done nothing to help me,> he said.
<In the beginning we hoped that the UK would give me a visa, but now with each passing day my frustration grows.>

Campaigners say the family’s predicament highlights the plight of thousands of Afghan immigrants caught in limbo, unable to return home for fear of persecution and prevented from travelling anywhere willing to grant them refugee status.>>
Read more here:

Pajhwok Afghan News
Abdullah Barati
26 Dec 2021

<<Malnutrition kills 104 kids, mothers in Badakhshan.

FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Pajhwok Afghan News findings show 104 children and lactating mothers have died of severe malnutrition in the past two years in northeastern Badakhshan province.
Embezzlement in the RUTF, ready-to-use therapeutic food to counter malnutrition, has been a big cause of undernourishment.
Millions of dollars are spent every year in Afghanistan on combating malnutrition. However, this food (RUTF) is sold by impoverished families and by the officials concerned at times. An RUTF packet sells for 15 to 20 afghanis in the market, but deserving children and mothers can rarely benefit from it.
Dr. Ahmad Amin, UNICEF nutrition officer for the northeastern zone, said 1.1 million children in Afghanistan were malnourished and that parents needed to take care of them from pregnancy until they turned two. He stressed parents must take care of their children’s health during the period to prevent malnutrition, because it caused mental and physical weaknesses, lack of immunity and even death.
<RUTF is the food that prevents malnutrition in children and breastfeeding mothers, but it is sold by poor mothers after they receive it from health centres. Such mothers are unaware of the problems linked to malnutrition,> he added.
A Faizabad-based shopkeeper, who did not want to be named, confirmed: <Before the political change, wholesalers used to buy RUTF stuff in Argo district. I witnessed the sale of 30 cartons at a time.> Such materials were rarely distributed to deserving people, he alleged. If each child suffering from malnutrition was really given 10 to 15 packets, how 30 boxes could be sold in the market, he asked. The Ministry of Public Health, which has banned RUTF sales in the market, warns violators will be dealt with severely.

Zaiba, a 26-year-old woman from Jurm district, said: <My child could not consume my milk due to problems. Because of poverty, my child may be suffering from malnutrition, I approached the health centre several times but it did not give me RUTF food.>
She acknowledged such food, like other items, was often sold in the market. However, she could not afford to buy it in for 15 to 20 afghanis a packet. Given her resourcelessness, the woman said, she was trying to protect her child from malnutrition, in alternative ways possible. Maulvi Tajuddin, a resident of the Hazrat Sayed village of Yamgan district, said in most parts of Badakhshan, especially in Yamgan, RUTF and other health services were not delivered on merit.>>
Read more here:

Opinion by Gino d'Artali:
That is how the taliban fails to provide urgently needed extra nutrition to feed the future of Afghanistan. Also UNICEF can be questioned!

Al Jazeera
25 Dec 2021

<<‘No need’: Taliban dissolves Afghanistan election commission
Taliban government scraps the panel that supervised polls during the previous Western-backed administration.

The Taliban has dissolved Afghanistan’s election commission, a panel that supervised polls during the previous Western-backed administration, says a spokesman for the government.
<There is no need for these commissions to exist> referring to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.
<If we ever feel a need, the Islamic Emirate will revive these commissions.> Established in 2006, the IEC was mandated to administer and supervise all types of elections, including presidential, according to the commission’s website.
<They have taken this decision in a hurry … and dissolving the commission would have huge consequences,> Aurangzeb, who headed the panel up until the fall of the previous regime, told the AFP news agency. <If this structure does not exist, I am 100 percent sure that Afghanistan’s problems will never be solved as there won’t be any elections,> said Aurangzeb, who like many Afghans goes by only one name.
Halim Fidai, a senior politician in the previous regime, said the decision to dissolve the electoral commission shows the Taliban <does not believe in democracy>. <They are against all democratic institutions. They get power through bullets and not ballots,> said Fidai, who was governor of four provinces over the past 20 years.
Before the Taliban takeover, several electoral commission officials were killed by armed groups.
Karimi said the authorities had also dissolved two government departments this week – the ministry of peace, and the ministry of parliamentary affairs.
The Taliban has already shut down the former administration’s ministry of women’s affairs and replaced it with the ministry for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice.
That ministry earned notoriety during the Taliban’s first stint in power in the 1990s for harshly enforcing religious doctrine.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
24 Dec 2021

<<Almost half of Afghan media closed since Taliban takeover: A survey by Reporters Without Borders and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association shows 60 percent of journalists are unemployed.

Afghanistan’s media outlets are on the brink of a meltdown as they face a shortage of funding following the takeover by the Taliban in August this year.
A survey released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) indicates that about 43 percent of Afghan media outlets have shut down their operations, leaving almost 60 percent of journalists unemployed.
The survey says the takeover by the Taliban radically changed Afghanistan’s media landscape. Of the 543 media outlets operating in the country at the start of the summer, only 312 were operating at the end of November.
A total of 231 media outlets had to close and more than 6,400 journalists lost their jobs since mid-August, it said. One of the main reasons for the change in the media landscape is the economic crisis and certain limitations imposed by the Taliban government.
In Shamshad TV, a local TV channel in Kabul where operations continue as normal, the channel’s news gathering manager, Abid Ehssas, said the media have been badly hit by a loss of advertising revenue, which they used to make from commercials.
He also added that the imposed limitations have forced many organisations to even turn to self-censorship.

Women in the media industry have been especially badly hit, with more than 84 percent of them jobless since the Taliban takeover, compared with 52 percent of men.
However, women have remained on TV.
Afghanistan’s most popular TOLO TV continues to employ female media people who appear on TV.
Working at her desk, Shamshad TV reporter Shukria Niazai said she considered leaving her job, but then decided against it.

Still, Niazai is not sure of the future.
The environment for journalists in the capital and the rest of the country has become difficult.
The media must fulfil the “11 Journalism Rules” issued by the Taliban government’s information and culture ministry.
<Journalism Rules> open the way to censorship and persecution, and dispossess journalists of their independence.
The Afghanistan National Journalists Association said the situation is damaging for Afghan media and the lack of access to information has made it even more serious for Afghan journalists.
Journalists have been always on the front line in the past 20 years, being targeted by the Taliban, the ISIL (ISIS) armed group,
criminal gangs and, in some cases, the former Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.
In 2018, nine Afghan journalists were killed and six others were wounded in a suicide attack, claimed by ISIL affiliates.>>
Read more here:

Note by Gino d'Artali:
I've tried to get access to
but unfortunately got this message:
This challenge page was accidentally cached and is no longer available.
DDoS protection by Cloudflare
Ray ID: 6c3464213a1783e4

and also this

is not working!!! Damn the taliban!!!!!

Let's keep trying!!!

The Guardian
Dec 24 2021
Matthew Weaver

<<Briton missing in Afghanistan after reports of Taliban arrest
Grant Bailey was working as security consultant in Kabul where he liaised with US state department.
A British man is missing in Afghanistan after a report he has been detained by the Taliban. Grant Bailey was arrested in the Afghan capital, Kabul, where he has been working as a security consultant.
The arrest came during a Taliban security clampdown, according to the Daily Mirror. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office could not confirm his identity, but a spokesperson said: <We are aware of the detention of a British national in Afghanistan and have been in touch with their family to support them.>
Bailey’s work duties include liaising with the US state department on security-related issues. He was last heard from on Saturday after being arrested at gunpoint, a UK security source told the Mirror.

The Mirror quoted the source saying: <We were quite surprised he went back to Kabul after the western withdrawal as the security situation there is obviously much worse. Added to that, the Taliban government is making it very difficult for the few ex-pats working there, making it very difficult to travel. A lot of people are trying to get to the bottom of what has happened to him, where he is being held, and under what charges.> Bailey is believed to have returned to Kabul in September shortly after the Taliban took over and the US and UK forces withdrew amid chaotic scenes at Kabul airport. His employer has been contacted for comment.
Bailey’s arrest underlines the continuing risks facing the small number of westerners who continue to work in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, hundreds of Afghans who worked for UK organisations, including the BBC, the British Council and UK forces, have been forced into hiding since the Taliban took over.>>
Read more here:

Behnaz Rasouli
Dec 23 2021

<<HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): A woman in western Herat province, who has recruited 12 other women at a tailoring workshop, believes that her business would flourish as peace has established in the country.
Tayebah Abdullahi, 44, a social activist and owner of a clothing factory in Herat, told Pajhwok Afghan News she was pleased that peace and security had been restored in the country and that people could now live in peace.
She says that in the last 20 years, women worked in various fields and played a significant role in the country’s economy, but the war has also affected women. Now that peace and stability have been ensured in the country, women will be able to grow their business in a safe and non-violent environment, she added. She said that with the change of political system, no one hindered her work and she has been able to continue her profession. She asked the caretaker government to create jobs for all women in various fields.

<Many women, who worked in various government departments, including the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, are now housewives, which has created some anxiety for them. It is our demand from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to call back these women to work as soon as possible,> she said.>>
Read more here:

Dec 21 2021

<<‘Eradication of poverty can lead to durable peace’.

FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): A woman, who started a small business after the fall of the former government in western Farah province, says she no longer fears the risks of conflicts after peace is ensured in the country and she hopes for a bright future of her children.

More than four decades of war and insecurity in Afghanistan forced millions of Afghans to flee their country and hundreds of thousands have been displaced within the country. Some sources put the casualty toll at more than a million, while others put it at two million. As a result of war in Afghanistan, about 4.4 million people (13.9% of the total population) are disabled and now, more than half of the country’s population lives below the poverty line.
Rizagul, a resident of Sayedabad village of Farah city, the provincial capital, said that her husband had joined the army of former government due to their economic problems. <My husband was a policeman, it was Ashraf Ghani’s era, his salary was enough to meet our needs and we did not need the help of others.>

<When my husband was serving in police, we were always in fear about his death because of war,> she added, saying that her husband lost his job after the fall of the former government and they had no money to even buy food.
Rizagul says in the last four months, they crossed the Iranian border twice but were deported both times. She said her husband was even forced to commit suicide due to their bad economic situation.
Rizagul burst into tears, saying, <Every morning my husband would go to town for work, and all the children hoped that my father would return home with some money, but my husband would return with a confused and embarrassed face until I myself started working and launched a good business with little money.>

<I went to our neighbor’s house and borrowed 500 afghanis and told my son to buy me 250 afghanisof potatoes …. He boiled all the potatoes that night and until 5am in the morning that, I prepared a lot of samosas from the cooked potato and told my husband and 12 years old son to sell them in the city, that was the time when my husband returned with smiling face,> she said.
She says that now, in addition to selling samosas,she also prepares and sells vinegar and pickles.
Referring to her little children, Rizagulsaid: <I want our business to grow, to have a good life so that we can let our children get education and have a good future, who would be able to work for themselves and our country.> She said that the government was responsible for improving the livelihood of people and their economic situation as well as provide them with educational programs, particularly for those who are uneducated.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
22 Dec 2021

<<UNSC adopts resolution to provide aid to Afghanistan
The resolution says aid will support ‘basic human needs’ and will not violate sanctions imposed on Taliban-linked entities.

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution proposed by the United States that facilitates humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, which is on the verge of economic collapse, while keeping funds out of the Taliban hands.
The resolution passed on Wednesday states that <payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities are permitted>.
Such assistance supports <basic human needs in Afghanistan> and is <not a violation> of sanctions imposed on entities linked to the Taliban, it adds. The international community has struggled over how to avert a humanitarian catastrophe amid an economic meltdown in Afghanistan since the Taliban swept back to power in mid-August, prompting the US to freeze $9.5bn in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank. An earlier US resolution had sought to authorise case-by-case exemptions to sanctions, but that was blocked by veto-wielding permanent Security Council members China and Russia.
<Humanitarian aid and life-saving assistance must be able to reach the Afghan people without any hindrance,> China’s UN ambassador, Zhang Jun, said in a tweet on Monday.

The decision to limit the scope of the resolution to one year, which was not part of the first draft, aims to satisfy Washington’s European allies, who, like India, had criticised the absence of any deadline and called for strict control over the destination of aid.
In Afghanistan, aid workers may be involved in financial transactions with ministries headed by sanctioned individuals. The resolution ensures that the aid workers are not violating sanctions.>>
Read more here:

Dec 21 2021

<<Poet calls on people to join hands for eliminating violence.

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): A poet, who reflects the pain of his countrymen in poetry, urges people, particularly writers and poets, to work jointly for peace and elimination of violence in the society.
Afghanistan is a country that had been in war for the last four decades that claimed the lives of large number of Afghans.
Some reports indicate that about a million people have lost their lives in conflicts, while large number others have been disabled and millions have been forced to migrate to other countries.
Despite efforts for bringing peace to the country, wars continued for four decades under different excuses until four months ago when the Ashraf Ghani administration collapsed and foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan. However, explosions and target attacks which happen sometimes still take the lives of some people.
People of different communities have repeatedly raised their voice for peace in their country.

MaiwandZamani is a nineteen-year-old poet from Herat who, for many years, in addition to his social activities, has always tried to raise his voice for peace in the country through his poetry.
In an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, he said, <I cannot bear the suffering of the people and I consider poetry to be the only solution to express their suffering.>
According to reports, 19 people were killed and 22 others were wounded, all of them students and civil servants of the university, in an armed attack in Herat city on November 3.
Zamani reminds the attack in which a father lost a son who did not respond to his father’s141 missed calls. “O your father’s beloved, where are you?” was a message attributed to the father that went viral on social media.
Zamani says, <When I heard about this incident, I shouted, (O your father’s beloved, where are you), and a few lines of poems were what I could write about this incident.> >>
Read more here:

Note from Gino d'Artali: I am a poet myself (and visual artist) and with investigating the atrocities against women worldwide I most likely will write a new poem about it so there's more to come.

Al Jazeera
21 Dec 2021

<<From: The Stream
Why 2021 was defined by resilient women.

At the Stream, we work hard every year to ensure their achievements are highlighted. Last year, we renewed our pledge to never again complete a calendar year without at least 50 percent of our guests being women. We’re proud to report that 2021 is the fourth year in a row we have achieved that goal, with women making up 55.17 percent and men 44.8 percent of our more than 500 panelists.

But, when we look around the media industry, it is clear that too little is changing, too slowly. Men still dominate television news shows, all-male panels haven’t gone away, and too many in journalism think a token woman guest is enough. It’s not.
The reason we’re doing this, the reason we do this every year, is because we believe that journalism can only be truly effective when it is representative and reflects the societies it covers.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres this year said: “COVID-19 is a crisis with a woman’s face.” And, indeed, there are few global crises of the sort we habitually cover at Al Jazeera that don’t disproportionately impact women.

Globally, the loss of jobs due to Covid-19 cost women at least $800 billion in earnings, a figure larger than the combined GDP of 98 countries, according to Oxfam International. In the United States and elsewhere, this has taken an especially heavy toll on women of colour. As we move into the third year of the pandemic, how can economies recover from the loss of female workers? How can women recover from the loss of income? We’ll ask these questions in this episode.

Another major story of 2021 in which women were front and centre: Afghanistan. The Taliban has been under pressure to uphold women’s rights since they took power in August. Early this month, its leaders issued a “special decree” outlining women’s rights.
It outlawed child marriage, but did not mention access to jobs or education. In this show, we’ll look at why some women’s rights leaders have stayed in Afghanistan to fight for their rights, and talk about why giving them a seat at the negotiating table is more important than ever. The biggest story of our time? Climate change. And that is another crisis with a woman’s face. Women and girls around the world suffer disproportionately from the impacts of the climate disaster because they are on average poorer, less educated and more dependent on subsistence farming.
A UN report in 2017 found that 80 percent of those displaced by the climate emergency are women. At the Cop26 Climate Conference earlier this year climate tsar Alok Sharma said: <We know from our efforts to tackle climate change that it is more effective when we put women and girls at the heart of those efforts.>

In this episode, we’ll talk about why women are vital to saving the planet. Join us for this special edition of The Stream.
In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Pashtana Durrani, Director, LEARN Afghanistan
Nisreen Elsaim,
Chair of UN Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change
Martha Ross,
Senior Fellow, Brookings Metro
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
21 Dec 2021
By Amanda Coakley

The Albanian tourist town that welcomed Afghan refugees
Amid the kitsch hotels and eerie off-season silence, a new community is adjusting to life outside their homeland.

Shengjin, Albania – It was a typical August morning in the popular Albanian tourist town of Shengjin. Nestled in the country’s north close to the border with Montenegro, the town’s bland-looking apartment blocks and kitsch hotels were heaving with families scrambling to make their way to the 6km (4 miles) golden beach perched on their doorstep. The flurry of activity – parents in bathing suits stuffing towels into beach bags, children holding decorative inflatable toys screaming for attention – caught Ziagul Hzimi by surprise. The 27-year-old had just stepped off a plane from Afghanistan, the land of her birth, after the Taliban entered the capital Kabul and took control of the country and its 40 million inhabitants.
There she was, still in shock after fleeing her homeland, standing in the middle of crowds of people whose main concern was securing the best sun lounger. <Seeing all these Albanians picking up their belongings and rushing to the beach reminded me of the Kabul evacuation,> she recalled with a nervous laugh. <I’d never heard of Albania before I got here in August so it was all a bit of a shock.>
A petite woman with striking features, Ziagul is a journalist who worked for years in the western Afghan city of Herat. Although she received no direct threat from the Taliban, she believed there was no way her safety could be ensured once they were in control of the country. So, with the help of an American NGO that supported her work, she boarded an early evacuation flight from Kabul and ended up in Shengjin to wait for her visa to the United States.

She is staying at the Rafaelo Resort in the centre of town with about 1,000 other Afghans who also left Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Known as 'The Rafaelo', the austere hotel is centred around three small swimming pools and an odd replica of the Statue of Liberty. It is a peculiar place with a textbook definition of <luxury>. The apartments and communal dining area are immaculate but uninspired and cold. The hedges are delicately cut but stiff. It is a world away from the warmth that pours from every Afghan home.
Normally booked by well-to-do Albanians during the summer high season and by businesspeople for conferences during the rest of the year, the hotel has been taken over by Western NGOs which needed safe shelter for their Afghan colleagues and their families.
Although the people staying in Shengjin have been referred to as “luxury refugees”, the sense of loss here is palpable. The young children scurry around but nearly all the adults look a little lost. Their bodies may be in The Rafaelo but their hearts are in Afghanistan.

When Al Jazeera visited Shengjin in early autumn, the tourists had gone and the town was eerily quiet. Most restaurants along the one main road had closed their doors until next summer. The sun loungers had been put into storage and the beach was empty.
At The Rafaelo the refugees’ days are filled with endless waiting. Waiting for news from Afghanistan. Waiting for news about the next step in their visa application process. The people in this place have gone from feeling in control of their lives to being at the mercy of others.>>
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Al Jazeera
21 Dec 2021

<<Humanitarian Crises
‘Let us eat’: Afghan protesters call for release of frozen assets
Hundreds of protesters march towards shuttered US embassy, calling for the release of Afghan assets, frozen since the Taliban took power.

Hundreds of protesters have marched through the streets of Kabul towards the shuttered United States’ embassy, urging the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets. Holding banners reading, <Let us eat> and <Give us our frozen money>, the protesters chanted slogans and marched down a central avenue on Tuesday, with the ruling Taliban providing security.
International funding to Afghanistan has been suspended and billions of dollars of the country’s assets abroad, mostly in the US, were frozen after the Taliban took control of the country in August.

The lack of funding has battered Afghanistan’s already troubled economy, leading to increasing poverty while aid groups warn of a looming humanitarian catastrophe.
State employees, from doctors to teachers and administrative civil servants, have not been paid in months. Banks, meanwhile, have restricted how much money account holders can withdraw.>>
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