The Duchess of Cornwall used a Women In Journalism event at Dumfries House to urge the world to ‘do all we can’ to protect female journalists working in Afghanistan.

After hosting 40 members of WIJ for a mentoring event in the Tapestry Room at the Georgian mansion in Ayrshire, Camilla gave an impassioned plea highlighting the plight of women now living under Taliban rule.

Her Royal Highness said: ‘I just wanted to say one thing which I think is extremely important at the moment, especially with what is going on in Afghanistan and the women journalists who are working there. It’s been a particular pleasure to speak to Yalda Hakim, who recently interviewed a Taliban spokesman with such focus and composure.

‘I’ve been reliable informed that in 2020, there were 700 female journalists working in Kabul. Today, there are fewer than 100. With the loss of 600 voices, the experiences of countless Afghans will remain untold.

‘All journalists who fight for truth and justice in the face of retribution deserve our thanks and admiration. Let’s do all we can to support, promote and, crucially, listen to the brave female journalists of Afghanistan, whose work puts them in danger every single day.’

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall speaks with journalist and broadcaster, Yalda Hakim at a Women in Journalism mentoring event at Dumfries House in Scotland, 9 September 2021

Her comments came at the end of a day in which WIJ members were invited to tour the 2,000 acre grounds of Dumfries House, which the Prince of Wales saved for the nation.

The Duchess listened to a panel discussion entitled Closing The Gap, in which WIJ chair Alison Phillips spoke to Newsnight’s Kirsty Walk, We Are Black Journos’ Hannah Ajala and Catriona MacPhee, Co Chair WiJ Scotland and Assistant producer STV News at 6.

WIJ chair Alison Phillips spoke to Newsnight’s Kirsty Walk, We Are Black Journos’ Hannah Ajala and Catriona MacPhee, Co Chair WiJ Scotland and Assistant producer STV News at 6.

Her Royal Highness then moved around the room, observing mentoring sessions and talking to WIJ members about their struggles in the industry.

Speaking afterwards, Camilla said: ‘I just wanted to say what a pleasure it has been, for a few very brief moments, sitting down and talking to you all. I wish I had more time to talk to you all individually and see exactly what you’re doing – but I think I have got the gist, listening to your conversations and seeing what is being achieved with Women in Journalism.

‘I hope you enjoyed your tour around Dumfries House, I hope you got around the gardens without getting soaking wet! It is rather incredible what is being achieved here. I’ve seen it from the very beginning and now what it is doing for the local communities is quite astounding – and for young people getting into different careers. I hope you’ve learnt just a little bit about my husband’s vision here.’

HRH Duchess of Cornwall with Kirsty Wark

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall speaks with journalist and broadcaster, Yalda Hakim (centre) and journalist Hannah Ajala (at far left) at a Women in Journalism mentoring event at Dumfries House in Scotland, 9 September 2021

Eleanor Mills, Former WiJ chair, Founder NOON with HRH Duchess of Cornwall

It comes three years after Camilla attended a WIJ event at the Ned hotel in London.

Speaking recently, she said: ‘We know that journalism is not an easy path – especially for women – and that, in general, stories about women are less likely to be told. Women In Journalism provides a powerful forum for vital mentoring and networking, enabling its members to ensure that female voices are both expressed and heard.’

Gabrielle Bennett ( WIJ Scotland Co -chair) , Alison Phillips ( WIJ Chair) and HRH Duchess of Cornwall

With thanks to CISION for supporting this event

 

 

Enjoying the gardens

Newsnight’s Kirsty Walkand Catriona MacPhee, Co Chair WiJ Scotland and Assistant producer STV News at 6.