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Feminism in Pakistan & Media

The mainstream media of Pakistan has caused more damage to the feminist movement than good. Whenever there is a show on Feminism, most of the hosts invites radical feminist leaders on one side and right-wing religious conservatives, who has a reputation of losing temper, on the other. Then they try their best to ignite a fight between them so it can create controversy and bring ratings to the channel. For example, before his on-screen fight with Marvi Sarmad, we rarely saw Khali-u-Rehman Qamar on any show. However, after his clash, he became a favourite of TV show hosts. They started inviting him and then fighting him in their shows to create controversies and eventually bring ratings. It diverted the attention from women demanding their rights to the “heroism” of KQ and overall damaged the movement.

Social media also plays a significant role to damage the feminist movements. After every Aurat March, trollers pick some pictures with controversial slogans or posters and spread them on social media platforms. Some YouTubers and bloggers take interviews of feminists and upload them without context for publicity and views. People, instead of focusing on the essence of Feminism, i.e. rights of women, focus on the extremist feminist slogans. It ignites a war between feminists and anti-feminists on social media platforms and in the form of public demonstrations. Haya March was held last year to show resistance against feminism. The insensitive behaviour of the majority of mainstream media as well as social media damaged the movement and made the achievement of women rights more difficult. Due to this, for people (mostly who live far from big cities) feminists are those who always shout, fight with men, and are inclined towards the west. The question of women rights has been buried somewhere by the media.

Ali Zulqarnain

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Media does play a large role when it comes to getting a social issue across to the larger majority. When a social movement is at its rise such as the feminist movement in Pakistan, media holds the power to make or break the movement. As we have also discussed several times in class, male reporters are sent to report aurat march. Males who have no emotional connection with the movement, who have no empathies with the women who march and males who have no agenda to support this feminist movement. This only results in an inaccurate image of the movement as portrayed by media which then restricts more supporters as people are told a very different story. -Aimen

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