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Women’s faces are being painted out of billboards across the city of Peshawar in northern Pakistan after local government officials threatened to take action against advertisers. The depiction of uncovered women is considered un-Islamic by the Taliban, whose influence is growing in the North West Frontier province. Similar edicts were issued and posters defaced in 2003. “These multinational companies want to promote obscenity, lewdness and vulgarity,” said a furious religious leader, Shehzada Babar.

As a counter culture , women journalists in Pakistan have begun producing the country’s first independent syndicated radio programs that feature women as both producers and subjects under a unique training project developed by Internews and the Uks Foundation, a Pakistani organization promoting balanced coverage of women in the media.

The radio show is called “Meri Awaz Suno” (“Hear My Voice”) and has agreements to air on five of the six new independent radio stations reaching across Pakistan. A recently produced program discussed educational opportunities for girls and women in Pakistan. Another is about HIV/AIDS and includes the first ever broadcast in Pakistan of an HIV positive person’s own words and story

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