Journalists from Kabul visited the radio station and interviewed presenters and technical staff working for Paywand Radio.
Bamyan is a remote province often inaccessible in the winter. In spite of its picturesque views and archeological importance, it has been one of the least developed provinces in the country. Recently, a university was built for the first time and inter-city roads have been asphalted.
In early 2010, Provincial Governor Habiba Sarabi told former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry that there were no female journalists in Bamyan. A couple of months later, USAID awarded a grant for a five-month training project. The project trained 10 young women on technical aspects of radio broadcasting such as announcing, interviewing, reporting, and editing, and helped launch a women’s media center and Radio Paywand, a radio station which focuses on women’s issues.
At 88.7, and on the air from 0700 to 2100 daily, Radio Paywand focuses on citizens’ involvement, call-in programs, music, and independent political idea sharing. Nineteen-year old Zahra, one of its most popular voices, is an anchor of the morning show, "Hello Sun." Zahra lost her father to violence when she was a child. Income from the radio now supports her family.
Recently, several major media outlets in Afghanistan visited the new radio station in Bamyan to review and report on USAID development projects for the Agency’s 50th anniversary. In a unique twist, male journalists interviewed announcer Zahra during her morning "Hello Sun" show.
Approximately 30 callers telephoned the program to discuss the day’s topic, "hospitality."
The radio has become extremely popular thanks to experienced staff and young volunteers. "I learn many things from Radio Paywand. I’m happy to hear women’s voices on the radio," said one housewife. A senior shopkeeper enjoys listening to the news. He said, "Radio Paywand often talks about good things that happen in Bamyan."
Afghan Women's Voice on the Radio