Human Stories by Female Foreign Correspondents

Published: 27 October 2014

Region: Worldwide

Zubeida_Mustafa_2Women pilots, academics and doctors, the first female prime minister in the Muslim world… This is not the usual set of topics that we can read about in the media in Pakistan. The journalist Zubeida Mustafa reports on her country writing about the issues usually excluded by the media, not only in Pakistan, but also by Western media.

“Women reporters’ stories are richer than the others. First, because they have a wider access to other women, so their sources are more diverse and complete. Second, because men tend to focus on politics while women do it in a more wide human dimension of stories,” says Zubeida Mustafa, awarded by the International Women’s Media Foundation in 2012 and one of the female foreign correspondents gathered in a new online project Global Voices: Truthdig Women Reporting.

“One story I would like to tell readers in the US is about how violence has assumed the proportions it has in Pakistan. You cannot forget history—at least recent history through which I have lived. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was used by the US government to make Afghanistan the “Soviet Vietnam.”The Pakistan government, under General Ziaul Haq, a brutal military dictator, became a willing partner to the scheme of fueling the Islamists’ insurgency in Afghanistan by providing the mujahideen arms and indoctrinating the youth in the refugee camps with literature in praise of jihad. That was the beginning of the move to use religion for violent political purposes,” said Mustafa in an interview for the Columbia Journalism Review.