SAT-7 PARS RAISES AWARENESS OF CHALLENGES FACED BY IRANIAN AND AFGHAN WOMEN
“Since the Taliban takeover, girls in my homeland have been deprived of the most basic freedoms such as education and sport,” shares Mariam*, a SAT-7 PARS viewer from Afghanistan. The challenges of women in Iran and Afghanistan have increased dramatically in the past year, and SAT-7 PARS continues to support and empower them in their desire for change and freedom.
SAT-7 PARS’ live women’s program Insiders recently aired an episode giving voice to the unique difficulties faced by Afghan and Iranian women today. Introducing the program, Presenter Hengameh Borji asked, “When the word ‘girl’ is spoken in the context of Iran or Afghanistan, what comes to mind?”
The episode investigated the forces locking women into a vulnerable position in society, including unequal access to education and jobs. It acknowledged that the compromise of personal freedoms through legal limitations on public dress, travel, and marriage also affect the social fabric. Exposure to domestic violence, child marriages, and confinement to the home are on the rise now that women’s rights have been curtailed, especially in Afghanistan. Program guest Mahdieh Golrou, an Iranian social activist, added that in Iran alone there were 700,000 child mothers.
The program also provided a platform to the grieving families from last September’s suicide attack against Kaaj School that killed 53 Hazara Afghan children, 46 of whom were girls.
“They are killing thousands of educated Hazara boys and girls,” Mariam commented. “We will resist you [the Taliban] with more determination every day. You with your rifles, we with our knowledge, understanding, and solidarity with one another – being united as one.”
“Despite all these deprivations and limitations, we are witnessing the resistance of brave women in Iran and Afghanistan in pursuit of their legal rights,” said Hengameh Borji. The ongoing protests are an indication of the resilience on the ground.
Feedback from male viewers also demonstrates the unity among men and women in the ongoing fight in Iran for women’s rights as well as the impact that programs like this are having in empowering local people. Kian*, a male viewer, wrote:
“Thank you for the topic you have selected – a discriminatory view of women is simply unacceptable in the modern era. A society that does not value women is heading towards destruction, and unfortunately, the way that these people view women does not respect their human dignity. They have effectively made women into objects for sale and there is nothing said about genuine love and faithfulness.”
In addition to Insiders, SAT-7 PARS is broadcasting the live women’s program New Identity. The program supports women’s understanding of their true value in Christ by sharing biblical teaching about women’s identity and issues.
Please join us in praying for dramatic and lasting change in women’s circumstances in Iran and Afghanistan, and for our programs to continue reaching women and men who most need to know God’s love and affirmation of them as equal partners through the Gospel.
*Names changed for security purposes