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January 6, 2012

Call for gender sensitive code of ethics

Peshawar

January 6, 2012

LAHORE
PARTICIPANTS in a conference on gender issues believed that a gender sensitive code of ethics for media reporting should be devised and implemented.
During the course of the discussion it was said that over 8,000 incidents of violence against women were reported in 2010 in Pakistan, indicating a 13 percent increase as compared to year 2008 and on the same time the alarming fact was that nobody knows how many more cases remain unreported.
As compared to the past, more media coverage is being given to women related issues but its scope is confined to domestic violence, rape, physical torture and other such crimes.
The NGO country director sharing the findings of the baseline studies conducted among 280 journalists from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar, revealed that media persons generally do not shell out much attention to women related matters and they prefer to go along with the practice of stereotypical portrayal of women, whereas there is a need to disseminate positive image of women as it has the power to influence mindset of the masses.
All participants agreed that the consultative dialogue on gender sensitive media reporting between media professionals and civil society would play a progressive role in improving the situation. They agreed that a gender sensitive code of ethics for media reporting should be devised and implemented. It was suggested that the code of ethics should include protection to women’s right to privacy and keep a check on their pictorial representation. They should not be represented as glamour objects. Efforts should be made to bring balance in the representation of women at all levels in the media.
A recommendation was made to expand the range of women related topics to reinforce their positive role in society.

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