Stereotypical Attitude Towards Female Journalists

Rabia Syed
Being born and brought up as a woman in Pakistan has never been an easy thing. It has been a roller coaster ride in every walk of life. Our system failed to protect women of all ages. Laws were made at the national level to protect us but have never been implemented.
Although change came over the years it wasn’t possible without women’s resistance and survival in daily life. This change and progression in our society are mainly brought out by women working in media or on screen. Women who wrote and shared their stories bravely.
However, women in journalism are not living a different life than the other women in Pakistan. They have to face harassment, bullying, emotional and physical abuse, and so on in their daily working life. Women are being used as commodities in the media but nobody is ready to question this unfair culture. Women in media are told to be focused on getup than content. The pressure to look perfect on women is far greater than to perform better. The only reason is the gender stereotype in Pakistan that a woman must look beautiful and fair on screen.
Women journalists who work and their husbands support them are not also welcomed in this field. Because this is perceived by society that women should be at home, especially a woman shouldn’t be in media. And if a man is supporting her he is not manly enough.
Such a story is shared by Mava who tried to work on screen with different media houses. She had to travel for news and reporting from one place to another. Which means she needed to be paid more in order to meet daily traveling expenses. But she wasn’t paid much for work. Anyhow she is married so she decided that her husband would take her everywhere for reporting and news packages. The moment her husband accompanied her everybody started to troll her. They said ‘What type of woman takes her husband everywhere’, ‘her husband babysits her’,’ her husband should earn and she should sit at home. Her husband supported her but the system didn’t. No matter how hard she tried to stand up against society: she failed. At last, she quit.
This is just one story of a female journalist who suffered from this stereotypical system but hundreds of stories out there are awaiting to be addressed. As for women’s safety, misogyny, and trolling is a great challenges for women journalists to overcome in order to be productive.
Moreover, the number of female journalists on the elite level is much less in our country. Mostly we see men in top positions in the journalism industry. As a woman journalist, I urge that our system must direct our efforts toward relieving the plight of women living in a patriarchy.
DisclaimerViews expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices does not necessarily agree with them.
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