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13pc rise in violence against women

LAHORE: Over 8,000 incidents of violence against women were reported in a recently-conducted study in Pakistan, indicating a 13 per cent increase as compared to year 2008, while an alarming fact is that nobody knows how many more cases remain unreported.

This was stated by White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan (WRCP) country director Omar Aftab while speaking at the consultative dialogue on Gender Sensitive Reporting (GSR) organised by the White Ribbon Men’s Movement for Gender Equity and Equality at a local hotel on Thursday.

Mr Aftab said that findings from the baseline study conducted amongst 280 journalists from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar revealed that media persons generally did not shell out much attention to women-related matters and they prefer to go along with the practice of stereotypical portrayal of women.

He said there was a need to disseminate a positive image of women through media because it had the power to influence the mindset of the masses.

As compared to the past, he said, now-a-days more media coverage was being given to women-oriented issues but its scope was confined to domestic violence, rape, physical torture and other such crimes.

At a consultative dialogue on the gender sensitive media reporting between media professionals and the civil society, the participants agreed that a gender sensitive code of ethics for media reporting should be devised and implemented.

Participants suggested that the code of ethics should include protection to women’s right to privacy and keep a check on their pictorial representation. They stressed that women should not be represented as glamour objects. Efforts should be made to bring balance in the representation of women at all levels in media. Participants recommended that the range of women-related topics should be expanded to reinforce their positive role in society.

Source: Dawn

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