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Women can bring revolutionary change

KARACHI – Media Women Publishers and Journalists Organisation (MWPJO), an organisation aimed at spearheading the cause of women’s issues, using media as the instrument of change, organized a seminar titled, Women and Media – The South Asian Experience, which was held at a local hotel on November 30.

State Minister for Information, Anisa Taher Khaili, who was the chief guest, said that economically empowered women could bring revolutionary change in the country and society. Thus economic empowerment leads to political empowerment and this can only be maintained through education.

Commenting on Karo-Kari and Swarah, she said that this menace should be eradicated from the country. The panellists also discussed the role of media women as how to empower women for greater autonomy and influence in society.

The seminar had two sessions on the Role of Media in Addressing Issues of Women in South Asia, presided by Javed Jabbar, Honorary Chairman of International Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution.

The first session consisted of panellists from the field of media, comprising Fariha Razzak Haroon, Member Sindh Assembly and Director Public Relations, Jang Group, Muneeza Hashmi, senior PTV producer, Hummaa Ahmed, Executive Editor, The News, Shirin Pasha, Owais Aslam, Chairman PPI, Junaid Jamshed. Amina Islam from Bangladesh and Kumudini Hettiarachchi from Sri Lanka also spoke.

All the panellists highlighted the basic concerns and problems faced by women in the field of print and electronic media.

In the second half of the session which dealt with the electronic media, the panellists included; Sultana Siddiqui, Samina Pirzada, Saira Kazmi, Mun Mun Chaudhry, Yusuf Baig, Reema, Sheema Kirmani, Gul Hameed Bhatti.

The panellists highlighted the role that the electronic media plays in the portrayal of women and how some programmes and features highlighted social
concerns, like domestic violence and marital rape and that the public was not ready for such a change.

It was pointed out that even though the literacy rate among women in Sri Lanka was very high yet the rate of domestic abuse and domestic violence and sexual harassment was equally high, which just goes on to show that one also has to improve one’s thought patterns for any change to occur.

At the end it was resolved that a Citizens Media Organisation should be formed, more realistic images of women of our society be published, avoid sensationalising of news, interaction and consensus be developed between South Asian region women, citizens media organisation be formed, women related programmes should be relayed during prime time, and efforts must be made for mind set of women.

Source: The News

Date:12/1/2004

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