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Women’s issues: Media urged to show gender responsiveness

Feb 14, 2014

ISLAMABAD: 

Renowned poet Kishwar Naheed has urged both print and electronic media to play a responsible role while highlighting women issues.

She was speaking at the launch of the Pakistan Women Media Complaint Cell (PWMCC) on Thursday.

The PWMCC is a joint effort of the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and the Uks Research Centre to monitor, promote and ensure gender responsiveness within the media.

Initially, the cell will start functioning from March 1 as a trial run for three months and may be extended afterwards. The cell will be an independent body and entertain complaints from the public against print and electronic media.

“Both electronic and print media should treat women with respect, dignity and honour regardless of their profession, caste and creed,” Naheed said.

She expressed displeasure at some of the media outlets which promote a negative image of a woman associated with the fashion and film industries and sensationalist newspapers that use objectionable words while reporting on women.

“The print media need to be very careful and selective while using words to highlight a woman as slight irresponsible use of a word could tarnish her image in the society,” she said.

She said that NCSW is currently working with various national and international partner organisations for women empowerment in Pakistan.

Uks Research Centre Executive Director Tasneem Ahmer 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,” she said 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.

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