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Woman journalists on rise: KUJ study

KARACHI – There has been an increase in the number of women journalists in the country particularly with the introduction of private TV news channels during the past couple of years.

This was stated in a study compiled by Karachi Union of journalists (KUJ) and released on the eve of International Women’s Day being marked on March 8.

It pointed out that during the past two years or so a number of young and educated females have joined the print as well as electronic media in the country.

The report maintained that the women feel more comfortable working with the English language Press. It was it was also of the view that there are some who are underpaid with little job security or health cover.

It pointed out that women journalists have highlighted many social issues as well as Karo Kari (killing on charge of illicit relations) and other problems that exist in the society.

The report also paid rich tributes to deceased journalists Razia Bhatti, Aamne Azam Ali, Najma Babar, Maisoon Hussein and Zuleikha Ali who through their devotion, courage and high standards set examples for others to emulate.

It said Razia Bhatti symbolised the voice of truth. After resigning as editor of a leading English language monthly, she went on to found another periodical – The Newsline, which later bagged the coveted Asia-Pacific prize for journalism.

Aamne Azam Ali, Najma Babar, Maisoon Hussein and Zulaikha Ali had highlighted issues like AIDS, women prisoners, child labour, environment and violence against women.
The KUJ report said Dr Maleeha Lodhi who edited daily The Muslim and The News, is now one of the country’s key, diplomats.

Ms Sherry Rehman and Nafisa Shah have also made their mark as elected representatives.

The report also acknowledged the contributions of Siddiqua Begum, Fauzia Shaheen, Fareeda Hafeez, Sheen Farrukh, Mehnaz Rehman, Shahnaz Ahad, Shamim Akhtar, Salma Raza, Razia Fareed, Beena Sarwar.

Islamabad-based Fauzia Shahid was the only woman activist who became the Secretary­General of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and is still the Vice-President of this body.

Lalarukh Hussain had even gone behind the bars during the journalists movement for the freedom of the press in 1978.

Meanwhile, KUJ which represents 650 journalists of whom 60 are females, has called upon the newspaper owners and employers to create an environment which is conducive for women to work in.

Source: The Nation