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Watchdog set up to monitor gender-biased media

Feb 14, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014 - Islamabad—There are score of issues projected in media in positive or negative way. A citizen can differ with the perception of a particular media house and sometime feels the urge to complain against it but where can he or she complain? In order to address this issue, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and Uks Research Centre jointlyannounced to establish a cell that will, to begin with, monitor portrayal of women in media. The project titled “Pakistan Women Media Complaint Cell (PWMCC)” will start working from March 1, 2014.

Briefing the media persons about the media complaint cell and its working renowned poet, intellectual and member National Commission on the Status of Women Kishwer Naheed Thursday said the complaint cell is established to promote and ensure gender responsiveness within media houses and the journalistic endeavours. Initially, the cell is on trial basis for three months and may be extended afterwards.

She urged electronic and print media organizations to treat women with respect, dignity, and honour regardless of their profession and particular respect is required for women working in the media, NGOs, activists, entertainment industry, models, law enforcing agencies and paramedics.

Tasneem Ahmer Executive Director Uks Resesrch Centre while addressing the participants said that the PWMCC aims to respond to the 2010 Global Media Monitoring Project’s (GMMP’s) findings on the perpetuation of gender-biased media, gender stereotyping and women’s significant underrepresentation in the Pakistan’s news media.

“The GMMP results show that there is growing concern for gender responsiveness in journalistic practices,” said she adding, “Now is perhaps the best time to put forward a forceful and persuasive advocacy planning to strengthen gender-sensitive portrayal of women in content as well as gender balance in representation. The PWMCC will use gender sensitive code of ethics designed for this activity as the guideline. It will be an independent body that hears the concerns or complaints of the public against the print and electronic news media. The cell will also be responsible for the self-regulation of the news media through the Gender Sensitive Code of Ethics for Media.

Two noted media personalities Amir Mateen and Qatrina Hussain along with students and faculties of four universities—Peshawar University, Islamia University Bhawalpur, Federal Urdu University and Fatima Jinnah Women University—will be part of the project and sensitize/guide general public how to lodge their grievances. A telephone line has also been set up (0518430457) where a common citizen can register his/her complaints. 

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