ISLAMABAD: should play a positive role to empower women to the maximum possible level as it was the only tool to resolve the issues being faced by women in our society, said experts at a discussion organised by Uks Research Centre here on Monday to mark 20 years of foundation.
The title of the discussion was 20 years of creating awareness and 2 decades of making a difference. The speakers, most of whom have been part of Uks Research couple of decades ago, said that the Uks, which was founded with a promise to empower women through media, has always strived to mirror a neutral, balanced and unbiased approach towards women and issues facing them through media.
They said that as a first or its kind research, resource and publication center in Pakistan with a focus on women and media, Uks has come a long way in achieving its objective. ÂBe it generating awareness and changing perceptions among the masses over women and gender related issues through exclusively produced radio programs and digital stories, or advocacy and training of media professionals and students for gender sensitivity in media content, or monitoring the media and developing the code of ethics and guidelines for gender sensitive media reporting, Uks has made innumerable successful efforts with positive outcome,ÃÂ they opined.
Journalist Amir Mateen said that although the trends are changed now a days but still we have a long way to empower women especially in the media industry.
While recalling his past, he said, round 20 years ago when I was working with an English newspaper, I was the only male among all female colleagues in the morning shift.ÃÂ Now trends have changed as hardly any female can be seen working in newspapers or the print media, he added.
He further said that although a significant number of female journalists are working in the electronic media, but they are no more than a ÂshowpieceÂ.
Journalist Rana Jawad said that ÃÂtoday, we can take pride in saying that Uks has emerged as a pioneer and a leading force to improve the portrayal of women within and through the media and highlight the importance of their role in the national development.
On the occasion, a documentary was also played based on views of journalists and social activists from across the country regarding efforts by Uks and its founders. They said that though women-media relationship and gender sensitive reporting remains Uks main areas of interest, the organization has also carried out activities concerning issues like democracy, good governance, violent extremism, peace building measures, health, education and above all human rightsWhile concluding the session, key initiatives taken by Uks were highlighted. The list of them included: formulation and circulation of the first ever gender-sensitive code of ethics for the media; establishment of the first ever Women Media Complaint Cell which is active since 2015; monitoring of over 100,000 newspaper copies through daily scanning of 15 national English and Urdu languages newspapers; achievement of a unique data bank of over one million newspaper stories on women related issues; holding over 500 trainings for media on gender sensitization; training of over 10,000 journalists from electronic and print media; production of over 400 radio programs on issues ranging from violence against women to peace building, from disability to honour killing, and from girls education to women in economy as well as broadcasting them from various radio channels nationwide; over 50 publications including extensive research reports; training of over 2,000 students from national universities on gender issues and collaboration with over 30 international work partners. ÃÂ Courtesy : Daily Times