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Interactive session: Women parliamentarians urge media to focus on politics, not fashion

July 9, 2013

By Sehrish Wasif

574883-redcris-1373411716-665-640x480ISLAMABAD: Women parliamentarians expressed concern over increasing media criticism of their dress sense and lifestyle, saying it undermined their efforts and achievements and dampened their spirits.

They were speaking at an interactive session on Impact of Women Emancipation in Politics, organised by South Asian Women in Media (SAWM) on Tuesday at South Asian Free Media Association (Safma).

“The media, in highlighting the prices of our dresses, handbags and jewellery, gives off the wrong impression, affects our image and discourages us,” they said.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Nafisa Khattak said that the media must stop poking fun at respected women parliamentarians through animated cartoons or comedy shows.

Khattak said that she was vicimised by the media when she joined politics.

“On almost all TV channels I was introduced as PTI Chief Minister Pervez Khattak’s sister-in-law. I was never asked about why I joined politics, my qualifications or my objectives,” she said.

Khattak said that she belonged to a conservative family and faced resistance for joining politics and that receiving such treatment had disappointed her.

“We want to increase female political participation but women in this country wouldn’t dare make the effort if they are going to be treated this way,” she said.

Responding to this, Senator Rubina Khalid of the Pakistan People’s Party said that if a female were to enter into politics on merit, she should be encouraged and appreciated.

“History tells us that female politicians are more competent than their male counterparts. Former National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto are the best examples of this,” she said. Read the rest of the story at The Express Tribune.

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