Documentary workshop: Media students urged to highlight social issues

Experts say media coverage of social issues perpetuates injustice.

News Desk December 01, 2014

Rutgers WPF, Pakistan in collaboration with Masro, conducted a two-day workshop at Bahria University and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) University over the weekend on documentary making on the subjects of child marriages, domestic violence and HIV and AIDS under an ongoing project.

The project aims to build capacity of media students and their understanding on important social issues.

During the project introduction, Mudabbir Maajid, communications officer at Rutgers WPF, said the aim will help future media professionals understand the importance of social issues.

He added that “through a competition, young media students have an opportunity to showcase their talent and help raise awareness.”

Women rights activist Dr Farzana Bari said “Child bearing is a woman’s responsibility but child upbringing is an equal responsibility of men and women,” she said, adding that “gender inequalities in Pakistan are perpetuated through the media, patriarchal structures in society and false interpretations of religion.”

Renowned religious scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, during his talk over Skype, said “Islam gives equal rights to both women and men with equal opportunity for education.”

A similar workshop was conducted at SZABIST under the same project.

Speaking at the workshop, Tahira Abdullah, a human rights activist, said “It is not easy being a woman in Pakistan.”

Renowned documentary filmmaker Samar Minallah, while speaking to media students of the varsity, said “practices like Swara and Sang Chatti are considered private matters,” and highlighted the importance of documentaries as an advocacy tool to bring social issues to the attention of stakeholders.

While talking to the students, Rutgers WPF Country Representative Qadeer Baig said “Take a positive approach, draw attention to how victims of child marriages, domestic violence and HIV/AIDS have managed to survive.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 2nd, 2014.


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