Pakistan has passed legislation for the protection of women rights and the rights of disadvantaged communities. The constitution of Pakistan also guarantees these rights and protections but the general reporting attitude towards such violations is not sympathetic but is aimed to sensationalize it. The wrong choice of words and images impacts women negatively overall and is also a reason why women choose not to come forward when such violations occur in their life.
Most reporters are unclear on how to construct their stories sensitively. Editors also look at angles that would entice and entertain viewers without realizing the harm they would cause with this line of action. Needless to say the media is well positioned to attempt to enhance the public’s political consciousness and mold public opinion. But this isn’t happening.
In this regard, the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) and the UNFPA are committed to launch a national media fellowship on the issues of social justice and human rights. The aim is to to sensitize a group of mid to senior level journalists from all over Pakistan, to build the capacity of the local media and to engage with them in generating sustainable advocacy material on issues of social justice and women rights in Pakistan.