Pakistani Conference calls for 'Gender Sensitive Code of Ethics'

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White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan is calling for a 'gender-sensitive code of ethics.' (Credit:, screenshot)

A Pakistani gender issues conference called Gender Sensitive Reporting called for “a gender sensitive code of ethics for media reporting,” according to Pakistani news sites The News and DAWN. The conference was “organized” by the White Ribbon Men’s Movement for Gender Equity and Equality, according to DAWN.

The White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan describes itself as “the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women.”  According to the site’s “Projects” page, the group focuses on “involving and sensitizing the media” in the White Ribbon Campaign’s “initiatives.”

That group held a study of 280 Pakistani journalists about reporting on women, DAWN reported. That study found, as The News explained, that of concern is a lack of balance in media reporting on women, as “more media coverage” focuses on crimes involving or affecting women. Also, media reporting often gives a “stereotypical portrayal of women,” according to the News’ report of the conference.

We wrote to White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan to learn more about the program.  The group’s country director Omer Aftab sent the group’s newsletter and program report.  According to the newsletter, White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan was set up in July 2006.  According to the newsletter, the group wants to “create a gender sensitized media in Pakistan” because the media reports a “biased and one sided image of women related issues.”

The group uses media workshops throughout Pakistan in which White Ribbon Campaign Pakistan promotes its initiative.  According to the newsletter, about 200 journalists attended the “series of one-day training workshops” focused on gender-sensitive reporting.

We wrote in December about four UK groups that are calling for the UK Leveson Inquiry into press standards to look into how the media reports on women. We also wrote in March 2011 about an Indonesian study into gender bias that was prompted by the Alliance of Independent Journalists’ “concern with media reports on women issues.” According to the AJI’s study, Indonesian media sometimes portrays women in stereotypical ways and exhibits lack of respect for women.

We wrote last month about International Islamic University Islamabad’s conference on media ethics, during which Pakistani press council chairman Raja M. Shafqat Abbasi said three Pakistani media groups had established a code of ethics.  Abbasi recently recommended that Pakistani “media institutions should organize workshops to train the journalists,” according to a Jan. 5 article by Asia Net Pakistan.  Abbasi also called for the media to exhibit “principles of fairness, accuracy, relevancy, impartiality, right of privacy and right of clarification” in reporting.


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Pakistani Conference calls for ‘Gender Sensitive Code of Ethics’

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