South Asia and Beyond

‘Our Women Presenters Decided To Mask Up On Air Rather Than Leave The Screen’

KABUL: What’s it like to run a news channel when the government issues a diktat that women presenters must cover their faces if they were to go on air? Soon after the Islamic Emirate government issued the order, I was of the opinion that the channel should shut down rather than comply, said Khpolwak Sapai, the Director of TOLOnews, Afghanistan’s first 24-hours news channel. Speaking to StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, he said the women presenters wanted to decide for themselves so the channel gave them a choice: if they didn’t want to mask up on air, they would be given other jobs in the channel and their salaries would be protected. But the women decided to stay put, even if it meant wearing a mask on live television.

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