WOMEN JOURNALISM TRAINING WORKSHOP AhmedpurEast, Bahawalpur District (June 2 to June 4, 2012)

229 Participants attend series of 9 training workshops
in three districts of Southern Punjab  (Rural Pakistan)


AhmedpurEast June 4 (2012) Series of nine three days long basic journalism training workshops concluded here in rural Pakistan today which  were attended by 229 male and female journalists including 68 boys and girls students of Media Studies Department of the Islamia University Bahawalpur.This training programme was organised by the Rural Media Network Pakistan in collaboration with IPDC/UNESCO in three districts of  MuzzafarGarh, Bahawalpur and RahimyarKhan of Southern Punjab. Last three days Basic Journalism Skill Development Training Workshop for Women held at Tehsil Head Quarter AhmedpurEast district Bahawalpur. It was attended by twenty female contributors; the basic aim of the training workshop was the capacity building of the deprived women of the remote area. First day the resource persons Nasir Hameed ,Nouman Masood Khan, and President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar taught them the basic principles of journalistic writing which  enhanced their capacity to write a feature and an article in a professional way.


The resource person Mr. Nasir Hameed delivered an extensive lecture on a popular form of Journalistic writing found in modern press is called a “Feature”. He told them feature is closer to an investigative report in the sense that facts multiplied through research, study and interviews. He elaborated its various kinds and revealed its purposes mainly to guide inform and entertain even those average readers who are not capable of grasping the subject through a news item only. Answering a question he explained how to select a topic which will attract most of readers by recognizing the elements of drama and human interest in a particular topic.


A practical exercise session for feature writing was also held and the writings of the female trainees of a less privileged area and they surprised the trainers with their excellent write ups and resource persons paid due satisfaction over the performance of all students. Chiefly, they wrote features on the topics regarding women issues of the area such as un-equal educational facility for girls; without consent marriages; dowry; deprivation of women in inheritance; acid victim cases etc. After evaluation, the feature written by Ms. Salma Lall declared best article of the workshop and President Rural Media Network Ehsan Ahmed Sehar awarded Rs. 500 to the said student.

In the second session resource person Nouman Masood Khan delivered his lecture on the topic of “Article” writing. He taught them various kinds of articles and asserted qualities of a good article. He differentiated the style of journalistic writing and literary write up.


Question-answer session grabbed the attention of all the participants and the trainees took keen interest to explore the new dimensions of the media. Ms Sobia Irum threw light on the negative aspects of TV channels especially impact of crime stories on children and youth. Replying, President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar admitted the fact that with the abrupt and mushroom growth of electronic media caused haphazard and resultantly media ethics set aside. He stressed on firm implementation of code of ethics and suggested proper professional training for the agile journalists of the peripheries.Shehzadi


Muzzamil,Fauzia Hashmi and Fauzia Hameed also took active part in this session. They put volley of questions on resource persons,Ehsan Ahmed Sehar cited the examples of CNN and BBC relating to ” Breaking News” and underlined the need of the exposing the hidden incidents of violence against women in rural and far-flung areas.

Second and third day, resource persons Mrs NajmaunNisa,QuratulAin,Zahida Perveen and Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan briefed the participants on ” Protection of Women against Harassment at Workplace Act 2010″. Existence of sexual harassment in society and in particular harassment against women at workplace was discussed in detail. The myths and stereotypes related to the women and sexual harassment were communicated to the participants. The participants showed their concerns on some gaps in harassment act. Female participants in a session highlighted the forms of violence against women and its reasons in feudal dominated areas. They said that there is urgent need of the exposure of such type of incidents and human rights violations in national and local media but due to non existence of women journalists in rural areas, dozens of cases go unreported. Newspapers managements fail to encourage women reporters. Women participation in Journalism, like the history of Pakistan,is moving one step forward and one step backward. It is the need of the hour that more and more women come in reporting, who can get into the field and can write on issues, which in the past have been left uncovered by men. Women can be more sensitive to an issue while writing in newspapers, especially when it is something related to women, RMNP Coordinator Fauzia Hashmi observed. She opined that this type of project will help in establishing a network of women contributors to gather, document, and monitor hidden incidents of violence against women in rural Pakistan by using Internet, which opens new possibilities for exercising freedom of expression. The collected information will be passed to local, national media, human rights groups, women rights organizations and international professional organizations to keep them informed of threats, she concluded. Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan said that the greatest development for freedom of expression is of course Internet. This is one medium with the promise of making Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights a reality. The “right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media  regardless of frontiers” seen almost within a reach of rapidly increasing proportion  of  humanity. The Internet also has the potential of providing of global reach to third world media,as  publications in developing countries like Pakistan have entered the era of  electronic publishing  and news dissemination through  the Internet, he told the participants. In Pakistan greatest threat to freedom of expression in rural areas where violence against women is rising day by day. He stressed need to create   women journalists in rural areas where Pakistan 65 percent population is residing. Rural women, especially young rural girls in Pakistan are facing many problems due to lack of awareness, protection and poverty. There are educated women with master degrees even in Journalism but they are reluctant to join this profession .


Ex-Member District Council Bahawalpur & renowned social activist Mrs Aasia Rasheed was the chief guest in the certificate giving ceremony who lauded the services of President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar and his colleagues for the uplifting of women issues at various platforms and thanked UNESCO for organizing training for the women of under privileged and remote areas. She distributed the certificates among 20 participants Ms Mohsina Bibi, Ms Sumera Ayaz, Ms Rabia Naureen,Ms Farhana Sadiq,Ms Saba Aslam, Ms Kousar Perveen, Ms Safia Khanum, Ms Huma Perveen, Ms Fauzia Hashmi,Ms Sumera Perveen,Ms Sadia Bashir,Ms Nayla Kanwal,Ms Neelam Khan,Ms QuratulAin,Ms Mubeen Wazir,Ms Ayesha Saba,Ms Sobia Irum,Ms Salma Lall and Shehzadi Muzzamil and appreciated their awareness regarding women empowerment.

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