Lack of Daycare Centers in media Organizations

Fozia Azam
Being a working woman and managing a home at the same time may not sound easy, but being a working journalist and a mom is much harder than one can imagine.
Most jobs have a proper work schedule like 9 to 5, weekends off, and other public holidays too.
But a female journalist is not lucky enough to have a proper work schedule due to the nature of her job. Because news can happen anywhere and anytime, the news does not wait for 9 to 5 or for weekdays to happen.
It has been more than a decade since the media boom happened in Pakistan and after the media boom a number of media organizations were established and a considerable number of females started to join media as a career.
Currently, a considerable number of women are working in media as anchors, reporters editors, or some other positions, and now even after marriage, girls prefer to continue working in journalism.
But unfortunately, when they become mummies the problems in their life doubles as now they have to choose between their child and their career. And this is all because of the dearth of daycare centers in media organizations.
The big media groups particularly are not providing daycare center facilities to female journalists. And despite their will to work in journalism and to follow their passion so many female journalists are left with no option but to quit working.
Asma Kundi also fell prey to the same situation, while sharing her ordeal she told this scriber that “I have three kids and every single time I gave birth to my child I was forced to stop working as there were no daycare centers in the media organization I was working for”.
 “At that time I was living separately and my husband was also a journalist back at home there was no one to take care of my son, so with a heavy heart, I decided to take a break from my work” she continued. Later my second daughter was born and the same situation happened again I quit working until my daughter started going to school.
I also hired a maid for some time but keeping a maid is not an easy task as you have to keep a check on the maid or supervise them, and for this no one was available. The second thing is that they are not affordable and if by chance you hire a maid a big chunk of your salary goes into it.
Shumaila Ahmad a former electronic journalist also shared her experience, our time working as a female electronic journalist was very hectic and all the time you had to be ready to reach some press conference or to cover some bomb blast situation.
Shazia is a mother of two daughters and she also had problems while working in the field as there were no daycare centers in the media organization she was working for.
I put my daughter in some private daycare centers but the fee they charged was very high. Later I hired a maid and at a point, it really became problematic for me to continue working as a journalist.
This is the story of just two female journalists and there might be so many unheard stories related to this issue.
When contacted by the founder of the Women Journalists Association of Pakistan (WJAP), Ms. Fauzia Kalsoom Rana she said the issue is of great importance and unfortunately it has been ignored always. As a founder of WJAP, I am trying my best to bring this issue to the notice of concerned authorities and do something for female journalists.
“I believe that by providing daycare centers facilities to fellow female journalists we can at least help them in lessening their woes” she added.
She was of the view that the media organizations should facilitate working mothers by providing daycare center facilities as these women contribute to their family income also which subsequently impacts on growing our country’s economy.
Currently, only APP and Radio Pakistan have day care centers facility but in Radio Pakistan the center facility is the name of just one room as the employee has to arrange maid on their own.
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