Seminar on `Representation of Women in Gender Based Violence Reporting' held
  May, 2017 | MORE NEWS  

`All media houses should have gender policy, but it does have of few media houses only', said Mr. Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, President of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) at a seminar held on 30th of January 2017 at CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka. Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) organized the seminar for sharing a study finding on `Representation of Women in Gender Based Violence Reporting'. He said, the gender sensitiveness created in media houses so far, is the achievement of women organizations and their movement.

In his speech he recommended that women organizations may develop a draft of gender policy for media. So that it can be finalized through discussion. He also recommended that study finding should be shared with news editors, sub-editors, chief reporters, reporters, cameraperson etc. They are needed to be trained up for creating gender sensitiveness.

Before that Ms. Rokeya Kabir, Executive Director of BNPS and the moderator of the seminar informed that BNPS has been working for making media gender sensitive since early 90's. But it was not so easy, as even talking about domestic violence was not possible. It took time to build the movement. However, as a result of those initiatives and movements, now we have a law to prevent gender based violence. Now another movement is going on for proper implementation of the law.

Ms. Rokeya thanked World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) for supporting BNPS to conduct the study to continue working for making media gender sensitive. Professor Mofizur Rhaman, Chairperson, Mass Communication and Journalism, DU led the study with assistance of Ms. Jenina Islam Abir, Lecturer, Department of Media and Communication, IUB on behalf of BNPS.

Research Assistant Ms. Abir then presented the study findings and recommendations of the study and recommendations collected from 4 regional workshops held at Khulna, Rajshahi, Chittagong, and Rangpur respectively on 19 November, 29 November, 3 December and 17 December 2018 on this topic.

Mr. Ajoy Dasgupta, Associate Editor, The Daily Samakal said that according to observations - scandals, scoops of stars are highest read news. However, well prepared reports remain out of attention. Online media is the biggest challenge now. There are so many online news portals, but no process to regulate those. He said that, in case of gender based violence and stopping violence against women, the prime role is of administration. However, due to failure of administration, the role of media has become prominent.

Dr. Fahmida Yasmin, Associate Professor, Department of Gender Studies, DU thanked researchers for the nice study. She said that, gender sensitiveness is absent almost everywhere. However, we have to come out from the stereotypical thoughts regarding gender. She recommended that a media surveillance team may be formed for tracking quality of media reports in this regard.

Ms. Farida Yesmin, the first ever female General Secretary of the National Press Club said that the study is very important. In early 90's Press Institute of Bangladesh conducted one study in the topic. It's a long gap. This type of study is required more frequently. She emphasized that, in case of media reporting language and words should be chosen more carefully. She said that, 'cyber-crime' has been added as new dimension in violence against women. However, things are changing, women are coming forward. She recommended that, the reporters of outside of Dhaka should be trained up to become gender sensitive and the National Press Club is willing to be a part of this type of activities.

Mr. Nasir Ahmed, Director (News), Bangladesh Television said that he has learnt a lot from the study paper and discussion of the seminar. He added, it looks like that population and violence are increasing in parallel manner. He recommended that BTV organizes conference of district reporters twice a year. This conference may be used for sharing this study findings and sensitize them on gender. He also recommended that the gatekeepers of media houses should be involved in this process.

Professor Mofizur Rahman said that the discussion has gone primarily on the reality of media and recommendation implementation process, not on study process. The new recommendation from this seminar will be considered in final report. In response to some queries, he said that, there were some studies in related topics earlier, but those are not so specific. The addition of online media is totally new. He also added that written gender policy for media is required to set norms on how to collect report, writing report and publishing report etc. He recommended that a style sheet may be developed in this regard. BNPS may take the initiative involving experts.

Ms. Sumi Khan, Ms. Rowshan Jhunu, Ms. Umme Muslima Jahan, Ms. Rabeya Baby, Ms. Rita and some other participants also shared their opinion on the finding in the seminar during open discussion session.

Ms. Shahnaj Sumi, Deputy Director of BNPS placed a welcome speech at the beginning of the seminar.

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