Afghanistan (MNN) — The Taliban has banned women from appearing in television dramas. The new laws also prescribe head coverings for female presenters or journalists who appear on television. Foreign shows also won’t be broadcast inside the country, as the Taliban says they contradict Afghan cultural values.
These decisions come as the Taliban continues to bar women from workplaces, a decision that could cost the country billions of dollars and prevent full economic recovery. Women accounted for 20 percent of the country’s workforce before the Taliban took power.
Joe Willey with SAT-7 USA says, “Unfortunately, valuing men above women and children is common in some societies. But it stands in absolute opposition to the truth found in God’s Word. And that’s that both men and women are created in His image. The only freedom from oppression is found in Jesus Christ.”
These restrictions affect Afghanistan’s terrestrial tv stations. But SAT-7 broadcasts its own programming into the country via satellite. This includes dramas. Willey says, “We’re excited about a newly produced drama, and this airs on SAT-7 PARS, which is the Farsi speaking channel broadcast into Afghanistan. This new program is called Destiny. It is about Afghans dreaming of a better life. We also have Bible teaching programs and current event programs.”
The women in these programs all wear western clothing and speak the Afghan dialect of Farsi. Hearing this can be comforting for Afghan listeners, Willey says.
Pray these programs would bring the hope of Jesus to many Afghans. Willey says, “Pray for hope. Pray that God’s love would be made visible to the people of Afghanistan. Where there is such control, it often seems hopeless. But please pray especially for the women and girls. They are facing the most severe restrictions.”
The header photo shows tv towers in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Peretz Partensky from San Francisco, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)