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The Women on the Frontlines of Somalia’s Stories

Being a journalist in Somalia is a dangerous business, especially if you are a woman. More so if you want to cover taboo topics. But that is not going to stop the team at Bilan, the country’s only all-female media house, which celebrates its first birthday on Tuesday. After all, Bilan is a Somali word that means “shining a light”. Bilan is not just about telling the sad untold stories. During our first year, they have reported on as many positive topics as negative ones, including on urban women who have set up farms outside Mogadishu, and a 10-year-old girl who teaches crafts to adults. Along with the criticism, they receive praise, too, from people who say our approach to stories is different from that of male journalists.