Media should promote hope among women: workshop
PESHAWAR, May 12 2006: Nation disasters affect women differently dm men, said organisers of a one-day media workshop supporting rights-based reporting in disaster stricken on May 10. The workshop was organised by Uk’s, a non-government organisation, in collaboration with the Global Fund for Women. Participants said the Pakistani media was not familiar with crisis reporting and had been caught ‘off guard’ by the Oct 8 quake in AJK and NWFP.
Tasneem Ahmar from Uks said the electronic mid print media made its presence felt in the earthquake Âaffected areas, but women of such areas had been projected as helpless and weak. “The media showcased images of grieving and exhausted women,’ she added.
Tasneem said the media’s coverage of such disasters should promote hope among women who were playing an important role in rehabilitating the affected areas. Proposing a ‘media tool kit’ for journalists covering disaster stricken areas, she said reporters should consider ethical values before ‘glamorising’ women. She said that several women died during disasters, especially when they were not given timely warnings about hazards and risks or if their mobility was’ restricted because of cultural and social restraints, she said.
Quoting Janice Duddy (resource net moderator of the Friday File), Tasneem said gender biased attitude and stereotypes could complicate and extend women’s recovery if they were not given timely care for physical and mental trauma of disasters. She said scores of women made efforts to mitigate hazards and strengthen disaster resistance of households and communities. “While they are providing such imperative services, women are often marginalised by agencies and organisations responding to local needs,” she added. She said that Uks worked on a more widely accepted concept of gender perspective in media by offering training in gender sensitisation.
“Uks is trying to develop media related documentation and database covering issues that will impact women and promote a neutral attitude towards the gender in media,” she said.
Source: Daily Times