Afghanistan’s first women’s lifestyle magazine launched

TMP – 27/06/2017

May saw the launch of the first TV channel in Afghanistan dedicated solely to women,  and also the first issue of Afghanistan’s first ever women’s lifestyle magazine Gellara was published.

“Until now, the media mostly focused on women facing violence said founder and editor of the magazine Fatana Hassanzada. “We want to portray other faces of women,” she added.

2,000 copies  were printed at offices in Kabul and the cover features Canadian-Afghan singer Mozhdah Jamalzadah, controversially with her hair unveiled. Inside the month serial are articles on breast cancer, yoga, Iranian films and beauty.

“We want to show that a woman can have a pretty face and be well dressed. We are trying to teach society not to be shocked by these things,” said content editor Aziza Karimi.

When asked how the magazine will be received in rural, more conservative areas Hassanzada said: “We try to target everyone. There is something for the cities and something for the villages.” She also acknowledged that many rural women would probably only see the magazine if their husbands brought it home.

Hassanzada has faced threats in Kabul for her work. On a recent visit to Kabul University to promote the magazine, students from the Islamic Law Faculty tried to intervene, calling the magazine “infidel”, before security blocked them.

Hassanzada says that reporting on controversial topics is worth the risk.

“We are the second generation of democracy in Afghanistan. In a revolution, there will always be sacrifices. These issues are not dangerous. It’s society that’s dangerous,” she said.