Female Journalists call for job security, conducive work environment
ISLAMABAD: Participants of a conference on ‘Gender Discrimination in Media and Capacity Building for Female Journalists’ on Saturday called for ensuring job security of female journalists and conducive work environment free of gender disparity and harassment at workplaces.
The two-day national conference, which has been arranged by National Press Club (NPC) here, was attended by local as well as female journalists from Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Multan and Hyderabad.
They said that women contribution in field of media is needed to be recognized and their issues should be addressed as well as giving them representation in journalist unions Chairperson of National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) Anis Haroon said that female journalists must be treated as co-workers rather an object.
She said that women in every field were facing harassment problems and “we must collectively fight to end discrimination against them”.
Anis stressed the need to write history of female journalists who have rendered great services in media since independence.
“Media is playing a pivotal role in reporting Violence Against Women cases and such issues should be highlighted until the issue is not resolved,” she said.
A senior journalist, Mazhar Abbas highlighting the issue of corruption in media said that accountability mechanism is needed to be devised to address the issue of such bad practices.
Pakistan in the only country among Islamic states which is enjoying maximum freedom of expression and media future of the country is very bright, he observed.
President Karachi Press Club, Tahir Hussan Khan and President Quetta Press Club Saleem Shahid appreciating the efforts of NPC asked for suggestions and recommendations from female journalists for improving the environment of media organizations.
Earlier addressing the participants, President NPC, Afzal Butt said 50 per cent issues of both male and female journalists are common while female journalists are also facing other problems too and the press clubs will establish committees to address their issues.
Butt sought recommendations of the participants in the form of guidelines which will be approved by NPC as earliest as possible.
The participants will present a declaration on the concluding day demanding women representation in journalist bodies, unions and formulation of code of conduct for media houses.
Women Rights Activist, Fauzia Saeed said that harassment is a global issue and only legislation is not enough to deal with this issue, stressing the need for effective implementation of the harassment act to make the workplaces free of harassment.
She said media organizations are slow in adopting the harassment code of conduct and only few organization including Geo, Dawn and Express have formed committees and arranged awareness seminars so far.
The female journalists also shared their experiences and challenges faced by them on the occasion.
A theater performance on the issue of harassment in media was also presented by a group of youngsters from Bedari and Gravity production. The concluding session of the conference will held on April 17 (Sunday).
Source: Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)