Journalists trained in gender-sensitive reporting -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Journalists trained in gender-sensitive reporting

Pakistan Press Foundation

PESHAWAR:  Media persons were sensitised Wednesday during a training workshop on how to report the sexual and gender-based violence cases.

The training was organised by Blue Veins, a non-governmental organisation, under a project “Policy advocacy and research to strengthen implementation of pro-women legislation and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) response services in KP” with assistance from the Australian government and Trócaire.

The training for media persons is being conducted for the representatives of six districts of KP associated with different sections of media including print journalists, bloggers, photojournalists, electronic and radio journalists. It is meant to sensitise them on the norms while reporting the GBV.

Speakers at the training workshop said that sexual and gender-based violence was a public issue and it was the responsibility of the media to hold a debate and highlight the issue.

They said the link between media reporting and the behaviour is not well-established, and stories published in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa show an aura of material that is not gender-sensitive.

The speakers said the media could play a role in dispelling myths and reinforcing information about the true nature and extent of the problem and reporting on violence against women that challenges rather than reinforces cultural and social norms about gender is still the minority.

Qamar Naseem, a Programme Coordinator, Blue Veins, stated that mass media communications reach and influence a large number of people, and they have the potential to play a positive role in the struggle against violence.

“The mass media plays an important role in the society by creating awareness on all issues. The priming and agenda-setting of these articles is crucial to bringing to the fore issues that society needs to deal with,” he added.

Akhtar Amin, a journalist, who covers the GBV and human rights cases, said that such training is a step to increase the skills and knowledge of journalists on reporting SGBV. The journalist said the media reports violence, but the problem arises because the morals and ethics of a particular incident were under emphasized and the acts of violence overemphasized.

He said the media must play an important role in highlighting the violence against women issues with a positive approach.This training can help foster the thinking of journalists about gender-sensitive reporting,” he added.

Asad Zia, a reporter covering the GBV cases, believed that sexual and gender-based violence is rising in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and media can play a lead role in the society’s fight against violence against women. He said the media could help a great deal in mitigating sexual and gender-based violence.

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