Thursday, April 11, 2024
Thursday, April 11, 2024
HomeNewsPakistan Media Industry Faces 'Gender Emergency': Report

Pakistan Media Industry Faces ‘Gender Emergency’: Report

Pakistan Media Industry Faces ‘Gender Emergency’: Report

A gender audit conducted by the Women Journalists Association of Pakistan (WJAP) and Freedom Network highlights a gender emergency in the Pakistani media industry. Titled “Unequal Newsrooms: A Gender Audit of Pakistani Media Organisations,” the study focuses on 15 news organizations in Islamabad, revealing an average representation of only 11% of women journalists.

Leadership positions lack women, and most media houses lack anti-harassment measures, with only two having inquiry committees despite legal mandates. Additionally, paid maternity or paternity leave is not provided by many organizations, despite legal requirements. The findings emphasize the need for gender-sensitive policies in newsrooms.

The gender sensitivity assessment in the audit report reveals that approximately 75% of the 15 news outlets lack gender-sensitive policies, ignoring issues affecting men, women, and other gender minorities differently. This gender emergency hinders women’s progress in journalism, violates their workplace rights, and impacts media content diversity.

Urgent actions are needed to address these issues. The study recommends strategies for gender equality in hiring, promotions, and workplace conduct. Capacity-building training on gender for journalists is advised, along with transparency in contracts and wage structures.  Journalist unions should demand legal action for gender protection law violations, and policymakers should address workplace harassment and safety risks for women in the media industry.

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