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Journalists engage in debate on gender equity

LAHORE: Leading journalists from the print media engaged in a debate on gender equity moderated by a non-partisan media consultancy, Individualland, at a local hotel on Thursday.

Many journalists felt that gender equality ought to be a prominent feature on the daily news agenda of a publication as, the participants observed, most media outlets gave less emphasis to gender-related matters. The workshop was organised in partnership with Aurat Foundation and was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under their Gender Equity Programme.

Journalists urged that that the trend to confuse women rights with human rights and the tendency to focus only on the female gender should be discouraged. Workshop participants said that in rural areas of Sindh and Balochistan, gender equity was a major issue of human rights, while in urban Punjab and Sindh, the issue was far less prominent. “Negative social practices not only affect the psyche of a society but also leave an impact on it financially. Domestic violence, dowry violence and taboo social practices such as honour killing, early marriages, vani and swara are generally accepted,” observed Gulmina Bilal, the moderator from Individualland, adding, “I think the time has come when society is ready to take on issues like women’s rights in property and the issue of marriage with the woman’s consent.”

Individualland, in collaboration with Aurat Foundation and USAID, has launched a series of media sensitisation sessions in nine districts across the country. The Lahore workshop will last for three days and will include day-long sessions with electronic media journalists and broadcast media journalists on September 23 and 24. They have also conducted a base line survey to find trends and perceptions of various media projections among communities.

Source: Daily Times

Date:9/23/2011

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