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‘Only 6% women occupy top editorial positions in media houses’

“Women have a different perspective while interpreting situations. While there are issues pertaining to women that can be handled better by women journalists,they should not be stereotyped or confined to those issues only.”

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
November 3, 2009 4:24:38 am

“Women have a different perspective while interpreting situations. While there are issues pertaining to women that can be handled better by women journalists,they should not be stereotyped or confined to those issues only.”

These views were expressed by Kumari Selja,Union Minister of Housing and Poverty Alleviation and Tourism,while addressing a gathering at the second Women Journalists’ Convention held at the city Press Club on Monday.

Organised by the Chandigarh Journalists’ Association,the convention aimed at bringing forth the problems faced by women journalists and also look for solutions.

Speaking at the inaugural session,Selja said women should not accept exploitation at their workplace.

“At times,we wonder whether exploitation would ever end in India. Our society is full of contradictions. On the one hand,women are respected and on the other,they are exploited. Media is a reflection of society,its models and values. The fact that more women are entering the field of media is a reflection of the change in society. Media organisations should take care to ensure there are no problems,” she said.

Rajya Sabha member Viplove Thakur stated that women have to work harder in order to prove themselves in every field.

Earlier,Nanki Hans from The Tribune stressed that women journalists have to face a number of problems at their workplace.

Quoting a study by the National Commission of Women,Nanki said only six per cent women occupy top editorial positions in media organisations.

“Many women reporters work as daily wagers,particularly in Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh. Women reporters are rarely promoted and if they are,it causes rebellion among their male counterparts,” said Nanki.

She added,“Sexual harassment is also common at workplaces. However,only 15 per cent women make a formal complaint. It is important that the female perspective is respected and reflected.”

B K Kuthiala from the Kurukshetra University stressed the need for setting up a Media Council of India. He added that more women are required in the media industry in order to bring about a positive change.

P K Roy,president,National Union of Journalists,announced that the body is likely to start cells in every state for women reporters.

MP Shruti Chaudhary,meanwhile,asked women journalists to brace themselves for challenges and remain focused on their goals.

Jagmati Sanghwan also shared her experiences while dealing with khap panchayats in Haryana.

Reporters from Punjab,Haryana,Himachal Pradesh,Delhi,Uttrakhand and Rajasthan were present on the occasion.

Resolutions passed
* It was resolved that media organisations would be asked to give six months’ maternity leave to women journalists.
* The gathering resolved that media houses should have a provision of crèches in offices.
* Women committees would be set up in all media groups to deal with problems being faced by women journalists.
* The sexist image of women projected by the media was also condemned.

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