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Pakistan Women Media Complaint Cell launched

Feb 14, 2014

Myra Imran
Friday, February 14, 2014 

Islamabad

 

To promote and ensure gender responsiveness within media houses and the journalistic endeavours, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) on Thursday launched Pakistan Women Media Complaint Cell (PWMCC).

 

Initially, the PWMCC will start functioning from March 1, 2014 on trial basis for three months. The project, a joint venture with Uks, might be extended afterwards.

 

The PWMCC will use Gender Sensitive Code of Ethics designed for this activity as the guideline. The cell 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.

 

“The cell will not be entitled to deal with a complaint or impose any penalty or adjudicate compensation in an issue that is sub-judice in a court of law. It will mainly be a pressure group that would try to check media for their public responsibilities,” said Executive Director Uks Resesrch Centre Tasneem Ahmer.

 

The decisions and findings of the cell will be published/broadcast. The publisher or broadcaster found to be in breach of the Code will have an obligation to publish or broadcast the relevant decision.

 

The Cell will be divided into two committees namely Media Committee and Public Committee. Renowned personalities from media and civil society are part of the Cell whereas Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson NCSW will be the overall Chairperson of the committees.

 

The Media Ethic Committee will review the Code of Media Ethics periodically. The Committee will take account of public and Parliamentary comment as well as reports from the Pakistan Women Media Complaints Cell itself.

 

The cell is established with active collaboration of various public sector universities and students who have volunteered for the Cell. The Complainant will be asked to write to directly to the editor or director news and in case of unsatisfactory answer or no reply; the complainant may contact PWMCC Cell through helpline.

 

Speaking on this occasion, renowned poetess and member National Commission on the Status of Women Kishwer Naheed 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 said 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 under representation 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.

 

“Our aim will be to resolve any matter concerning a violation of the Code of Ethics to the satisfaction of complainant,” said Tasneem Ahmer. This resolution may take the form of an explanation from the editor/director of the publication of channel concerned or by the publication/broadcast of a correction or an apology in the form of a letter to the aggrieved party and or to the complainant.

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