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PPF seminar “Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future for Women Journalists”

Date: March 10,2005
Location: Karachi

The Pakistan Press Foundation organised a seminar for working women journalists and journalism teachers on Thursday on 10th March 2005 to stress on the need for encouraging educated females to adopt journalism as a profession so that they could highlight issues facing women as well as play a role in elimination of gender discrimination from the society.

The seminar on “Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future for Women Journalists” was held at the Vicky Zeitlin Media Library, PPF in connection with International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 08, 2005. peaking on the occasion, former Chairperson of Mass Communication Department, University of Karachi Dr. Shahida Qazi deplored that women were regressing from journalism in these days as the number of women working in newspapers was quite less as compared to a few years back.

“Nowadays, women are actually working in weekly or monthly magazines as compared to the recent past, when our newspapers and magazines had female reporters, even editors of several leading papers were women” she said.Women journalists contributed a lot to struggle for eliminating gender discrimination as they work with more sincerity, dedication and enthusiasm as compared to men.She regretted that women were being offered glamorous jobs only in electronic media channels although they could handle current affairs programs as efficiently as male journalists.

“The most regrettable phenomenon is that parents discourage girls for working at newspapers or become journalism. On the other hand, majority of newspapers organizations do not have proper facilities like separate washrooms for women, which is hindering their entry into journalism” she added. Dr. Qazi urged male and female journalists to write on these issues and instead of discouraging women, support them so that they could play their role for gender equality in the country. Ms Khurshid H
aider editor of a local magazine, differed from the opinion that women were regressing from journalism.

She maintained that after the emergence of electronic media channels, the number of women journalists had increased manifolds and the number of female journalists in local newspapers had also swelled. She was of the view that women in Pakistan or elsewhere in the world could never have gender equality as males dominate the world. She urged women to not compromise on the issue. According to her, education is the key to reform society, system and the attitude as in an educated society; women face less discrimination and other related problems as compared to an uneducated society like us. Mrs Nargis Baloch, editor of an Urdu daily published from Balochistan, thanked PPF, Chairman Pakistan Press International (PPI) News Agency Owais Aslam Ali and several other journalists for supporting her and said it was high time for women to adopt journalism as profession.According to her, women are as much committed as men as well as they possess some additional qualities, which give them an edge over men as journalists.

Chief Editor PPI News Agency and Vice Chairman, PPF informed in detail about the activities of the organization and its role in elimination of gender discrimination and supporting women to join journalism as a profession or as a skill to highlight their issues. He said PPF regularly holds training workshops for women all over Pakistan and teaches them the art of feature writing and also arranges their publishing in local newspapers.

Mr. Fazal Qureshi of PPF said the organization was also holding training workshops for female students at degree colleges all over the country and imparting them the skill of writing to enable them to write on their issues. Ms Erum Noor, editor of another weekly magazine also spoke and called for support for workingwomen from broadminded men and women.

List of Speakers
Dr.Shahida Qazi
Chairperson of Mass Communication Department
Jinnah University
Ms.Khurshid Haider
Mrs.Nargis Baloch
Chief Editor
Mr.Fazal Qureshi
Vice Chairman
Pakistan Press Foundation
Ms.Iram Noor
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