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Violence against women: Speakers laud media for ‘positive role’

ISLAMABAD – Speakers at a seminar appreciated the positive role of media to generate public awareness addressing violence against women, and said that media is serving as catalyst in providing justice to the victims of gender violence.

Mome Saleem from SDPI shared findings from her recently conducted research which highlighted that media played a very pivotal role in addressing the violence against women. She said that they collected about 40 case studies on incident of violence against women and found out that in 25 cases, media was instrumental in influencing authorities and helping the victims.

She also narrated stories of two rape victims – 15-year-old Asma Khand and 12-year-old Anam, who were raped and denied justice but after persistent media coverage, relevant authorities were forced to act. She pointed some gaps such as juicy reporting of rape incidents and insisted upon shifting focus to punishment of culprits and projection of positive developments in violence against women. Sumera Abbasi said media can play an important role in the shaping of perceptions around women and their role in society. She said that media has definitely helped generate public awareness of the multiple problems facing women, such as violence of various kinds. Sara Duke concluded that media can and does perform two paradoxical roles in addressing violence against women. It can serve as a forum to merely reflect discriminatory attitudes and beliefs, which further propagates acts of violence against women.

Source: The Nation

Date:4/26/2011

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