Monday, February 7, 2011

National Press Club and Mishal Announce National Media Gender Awards in Pakistan

Inspired by the Global Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum, National Press Club Announces Media Gender Awards.

An initiative framing a discussion on the gender disparities by benchmarking the global gender gap

The National Press Club, today announced the launch of National Gender Media Awards on the basis of the Global Gender Gap Index in collaboration with Mishal Private Limited.

Afzal Butt, President National Press Cub, on the occasion said that, “the social structures prevent the women in our society from fully realizing their potential, hence widening the gap between males and females in all sectors. As the National Press Club already works towards supporting and encouraging women’s education and empowerment; we are committed in redefining the social, economic and political role of the women in the society”.

To further mark the significance of the initiative, the National Press Club and Mishal also proposed the Women and Media Leadership Convention in Islamabad on the 100th International Women’s Day, a day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women to be held on the 8th of March 2011, said Afzal Butt

Also present for the announcement was Ms. Saadia Zahidi, Director of Constituents and Head of the Women Leaders and Gender Parity Programme at the World Economic Forum. In her interaction with the members of the Press Club, Academia representatives and members of the civil society” Ms. Zahidi briefed the gathering about Pakistan's performance on the indicators of the Gender Gap and advised the club on new initiatives, which can be undertaken to create awareness and promote dialogue.
Zahidi's presentation to the members had details about Pakistan's ranking in the recent Global Gender Gap Report 2010; according to which Pakistan scored 132 out of 134 nations (score similar to the report released in 2009), meanwhile the scorecard also had other categories of performance that included economic participation and opportunity where Pakistan stood at 133/134, educational attainment 127/134, health and survival 122/134 and political empowerment, where Pakistan scored relatively well at 52. 

Amir Jahangir, CEO Mishal Private Limited and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum said, “This initiative will be a landmark and an inspiration for other press clubs in Pakistan and would be replicated at more than 60 press clubs across Pakistan. Mishal has signed up with the leading Press Clubs, Journalism Associations and other stakeholders in the Public as well as Private Sector to bolster best practices to promote content diversity setting new benchmarks for journalism in the region”.

The National Press Club and Mishal are also collaborating on the launch of an Online Journalism and Gender Parity Program at one of the leading Universities in Islamabad/Rawalpindi. This would be achieved by engaging international donor funding. The program aims to help the new breed of journalists and communication professionals as seeing this as an opportunity to making the transition to New Media as a window for generating more effective and relevant content space.

Zamir Haider, Chairman of NPC Committee on Capacity Building and Trainings said that “in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Press Club and Mishal, signed earlier both the organizations have proposed an interaction and capacity building initiative for the members of the National Press Club to frame a discussion on the gender disparities that exist in our society by benchmarking the global gender gap”.

Realizing the importance of strengthening and developing human capital for a diverse workforce, MISHAL, the leading strategic communication enterprise, specializing in media and communication for policy design has launched the 1st Gender Mainstreaming Fellowship Program in Pakistan. The fellowship program is in collaboration with the LADIESFUND, an initiative to address gender parity by bringing them into mainstream economic activities.
The Women Leaders and Gender Parity programme aims to increase participation of women in Forum activities. Besides involving women as members in communities and inviting women leaders to be active contributors to the global dialogue, the programme uses benchmarking tools to measure the global gender gap and showcase best practices for increasing gender diversity. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Parity Group comprises 100 highly influential and committed leaders. The Global Gender Gap Report, produced annually, provides a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender disparities around the world and aims to serve as a tool for benchmarking and tracking gender inequalities.

The interactive session at the National Press Club was attended by the Executive Committee of the National Press Club, senior journalists from Islamabad/Rawalpindi, representatives of Academia and members of civil society.
Established in 2003, Mishal is a strategic communications company at the forefront of devising and delivering communication solutions for a cross-section of stakeholders and is supporting initiatives, which improve the state of media and journalism in Pakistan. Mishal’s objective is to strengthen institutions, create awareness and educate through media, facilitating sustainable economic development, empowering citizens to make decisions about their lives. The Mishal Team believes that the media can enable Governments and corporations to create an environment that can assist in bridging gaps within the existing socio-economic and political structures.

The National Press Club is a supreme representative body of journalists based in Rawalpindi and the federal capital Islamabad. It has an elected governing body represented by the president, a Secretary and other office bearers. The National Press Club is the representative body of more than 2500 journalists based in Rawalpindi and Islamabad; it also caters for the journalists visiting Islamabad from other parts of the country as well as international journalists visiting Pakistan.

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