ISLAMABAD, Saturday June 26, 2021: Women journalists from different parts of the country on Saturday called for Gender audit in media houses and other decision-making bodies. These demands were made during a protest organized by Women Journalists Association of Pakistan.
Women media persons also demanded the government to bound media owners for paying pending wages of women journalists, and reinstate those who have lost their jobs during current media crisis. They also called for provision of basic facilities for women Journalists at workplaces. They said that majority of women journalists have lost their jobs during the prevailing media crisis but the financial loss suffered by the women journalists has been ignored by their respective media houses.
They also suggested necessary amendment in law to make sure the presence of at least 33 per cent women in any media organization. They also suggested that no license or declaration shall be issued to any newspaper or channel unless they have at least 33 per cent women employed as their staff members. They also demanded special desk to deal with online harassment cases of women journalists in the Federal Investigation Agency’s Cyber Crime Cell.
Besides that, they suggested that social media cells of all political parties be registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan and a code of conduct should be devised for such cells. They also called for establishment of sexual harassment complaint committees in every media house, union offices and press clubs under the Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2010.
They also called for provision of transport facilities for women journalists, strict implementation of the law on paid three-month maternity leave for women employees and equality in pay structure, beat distribution and exposure opportunities. They urged for insurance at par with their male colleagues, 10 per cent quota for women journalists in working women hostels, welfare schemes and free healthcare for senior female journalists and provision of easy house and car loans for women journalists.
Speaking on this occasion, Fauzia Kalsoom Rana (Convener, Women Journalists Association) said that government should immediately appoint Chairperson of Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE) as many cases of media persons are pending in ITNE.