Mena Mangal was a prominent TV journalist, women’s rights advocate and cultural adviser to Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of Afghanistan's national parliament.
For more than a decade, she worked for Ariana TV, Tolo TV's Pashto-language channel Lamar, and the private Afghan national television broadcaster Shamshad TV. As a presenter, Mena focused on women’s rights and cultural talk shows.
"Women's rights activist Wazhma Frogh said Mangal "had a loud voice" and actively spoke out as an advocate for her people."
Off-screen, she also ran popular social media pages that advocated for the rights of Afghan girls and women to education and work. In terms of her private life, Mena wrote extensively about being forced into an arranged marriage in 2017 and the process she had to go through to finally obtain a divorce.
In a Facebook post, Mena wrote she was receiving death threats from unknown sources but would continue to carry out her work.
On 11 May 2019, she was attacked by unknown gunmen and shot dead in broad daylight in a public space in Southeast Kabul.
"We are concerned about the situation because it has a direct impact on women who work outside their homes...Female journalists are changing their professions due to the increasing risks they are facing." - Robina Hamdard, Kabul-based women’s rights activist.