„Halabja is an important city in the autonomous Kurdish territory in Iraq, roughly 250 kilometers (155 miles) northeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The city made headlines in 1988, when, towards the end of the war with Iran, Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein unleashed a chemical attack against its largely Kurdish population. Several thousand people died and many more were injured and fled the area. Since then, Halabja has witnessed occupation by the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam in the early 2000s, followed by the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish region after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Today, the city serves as a safe haven for refugees coming from war-torn regions in Syria and Iraq, and a special radio project, called Dange Nwe – run by women – discusses their problems and possible solutions. Radio Dange Nwe, or New Radio in Kurdish, was founded 10 years ago by Hero Jafaar and her colleague Rangen Mahmood (pictured above). It is an independent news outlet, a unique phenomenon in Halabja, where most news stations are funded by the government or local political parties. It offers its listeners a wide variety of music and entertainment shows, but its main focus is to create awareness on human rights, democracy, forced marriage, divorce, domestic violence and honor killings – dominant themes in the region.“
(Bericht auf Deutsche Welle: „Kurdish women fight odds to broadcast on women’s rights“)