Source: International Labour Organisation
Date published: 3 February 2014
Gender stereotypes are common in Pakistani media and continue to make it difficult for women to play an equal role in the country’s workforce.
A recent ILO project focuses on Pakistani journalists themselves, using media to re-shape public perception about working women.
As a reporter for Pakistan Television, Nida Fatima Zaidi sees many of the country’s most pressing social problems. But for her one of the most difficult was also one of the most personal – gender equality. “Women in Pakistan in particular are portrayed by the media mainly in two major roles, either as sex objects or housewives,” she said.
“The working woman, the labourer, the career girl, the high academic achiever, the productive citizen contributing greatly to the economy through her skills is underrated, underreported and hardly celebrated,” she added. “This undermines her identity as a labourer, skilled worker and a professional.”
After almost a decade of reporting, Nida was getting tired of fighting the “invisible war” for working women. She was frustrated that the dramatic expansion of Pakistan’s media sector in the last decade had done little to change attitudes to women and work.
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