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Denmark supports gender-balanced media

ISLAMABAD: The Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) on Friday announced the support for a media development programme, which aims at mainstreaming gender in the Pakistani media industry as well as working towards creating a more balanced report on gender issues in Pakistan.

The programme was launched at a ceremony held at Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), where the Danish Ambassador to Pakistan, Uffe Wolffhechel was present along with FJWU Vice Chancellor Dr Samina Qadir, leading faculty members of FJWU, large groups of female students pursuing careers in media and members from UKS Research, a local NGO.

The project will be a two-year project in joint collaboration with UKS Research and aims to sensitise the Pakistani media on gender issues, promote media as a career for women in Pakistan and thereby improve and balance gender based news. Speaking at the event, the Danish ambassador said that according to the International Women’s Media Foundation, more than 73 percent of top management jobs in newsrooms around the world are occupied by men, who hold nearly two-thirds of the reporting jobs. “This is a global scenario, however with the massive growth of media in Pakistan, there is a huge opportunity for women to take active part in this development.”

The ambassador also expressed that although the women in Pakistan were strongly contributing to the economy and opening up more doors of economic participation, there was a need to highlight their important role in the media as well.

“There are some very good female journalists in Pakistan today who have, through their journalistic expertise, advocated for gender-based issues and some of the changes, which we have seen in the society today, is partly due to their struggle and “voice in media”. The ambassador also stated that although the interest for pursuing academic degrees in media was extremely high among female students, less than 50 percent of them join the industry afterwards. Wollfhechel stated that some of the reasons may be that the industry was still developing and was seen as a male-dominated industry with very few opportunities for women to join in and make a difference.


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