The country can not develop until unless; the majority of the population has not been made economically sound with proper education, health and other facilities. Women have been contributing a lot in the development of Pakistan but they were being deprived of their fundamental rights.
This was observed by the participants of 3-day workshop titled “ Gender Justice and Economic Empowerment of Women” organized by Pakistan Press Foundation in collaboration with Foundation For The Future (FFF) from April 10 to 12, 2012 at a local Hotel of Lahore. The training was participated by 6 female among 21 radio professionals from different parts of Pakistan, FATA and AJK.
Participants said that women in Pakistan had been facing issues like low access to resources, lack of mobility, ill social behaviors and attitudes, unfair distribution, gender based violence and low representation at decision and policy making institutions.
They observed that most of the budget of the country was being spent on those who have already different kind of privileges and the genuine population was being ignored at all levels. They said thousands of women have been working in houses and contributing to the economy of the country but home based women workers were not being considered as worker at government level. They do not have social security and they even can not get loans from banks and other government institutions. Participants observed that it was the failure of system that women were being deprived of their basic rights.
They said that in Pakistan women and children were the most affected sections of the society and there were no proper and sustainable mechanism or plans to address their issues. Majority of the women and children were being ignored since years in Pakistan. They demanded that government should practically give importance to the issues of women and children with special focus on education, economic empowerment and providing health facilities.
Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Begum Zakia Shah Nawaz while addressing certificate awarding ceremony said that the journalism was a sacred profession and the journalists play important role in social welfare development.
The advisor further said that the journalists should not surrender to any pressure but highlight the actual facts, because truth cannot be hided.
Ms. Nawaz hailed the efforts of the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) towards promotion of radio journalism and training them. She expressed the hope that it would help highlight the social issues and lead towards their redressing.
Mr. Salman Abid, Regional head of Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) and Mr. Javed Pasha of Home Net Pakistan; while addressing two panel discussions said that home based women workers were not being considered as worker by the state yet and there were limited plans and schemes to make women economically sound. Women have been facing all kind of violence in the society and dilemma was that the accused were not being punished and they have been enjoying un-announced immunity. They said that media had emerged as a power and we should use that power for the empowerment of women. Both advised CSOs to engage with media on permanent basis to resolve the issues of women.
During workshop, the participants were engaged in interactive and practical exercises, where colorful cards, flip charts, drawing board, role-playing, and power point presentations were used, where and when needed. The participants were asked to produce a skillful and balanced piece of news report and one current affairs program during the course of three days. All 21participants prepared one news package and 5 current affairs programs.
On the occasion, Mumtaz Mughal of Aurat Foundation Lahore, Ms. Naheed of DGPR Lahore, PPF senior coordinator Lala Hassan and trainer Saeed Minhas said that the independent, impartial media can bring about a positive change to the society. They further said that through an independent and impartial media democracy could also be strengthened in the country, adding that it would also raise the voice of oppressed segment of the society to the corridors of power, particularly the plights of the masses living in far flung areas.
Trainer: Saeed Minhas
Event Coordinator: Lala Hassan