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‘Digital training need of the hour for women journalists’

Working women journalists are most of the time unaware of their digital rights, says DRF member

Women journalists need basic and advanced training in their digital rights and should be inculcated with a sense of laws present in Pakistan to save them from workplace harassment.

The three-day Women Journalists’ Digital Well-being and Safety Fellowship started today in a local hotel in Lahore conducted by Digital Rights Foundation (DRF).

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A large number of women journalists from the city and out of the city took part in the fellowship and learned about their rights and responsibilities at workplace and digital platforms.

On the first day, Dania Mukhtar, director of Legal Affairs at DRF explained two major laws to the women journalists, including defamation laws and the Workplace Act 2010.

“Our women journalists still don’t know how to file a defamation case or how to reach the authorities if they are facing any workplace harassment. Even most of the employees do not know what kind of behavior falls under ‘harassment’,” said Daniya.

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Saniya Alam*, a young journalist working in electronic media said, “Most of the time, we do not get a chance to file complaints because we do not get such in-house training. Our employers and government should make sure that people are getting this education on how to behave on digital platforms.”

While explaining the laws Daniya said, “Pakistan Penal Code and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act are there to help people but sadly, most of the people do not even know that such laws exist.”

Pakistan is ranked 145 in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index, and mostly women journalists face discrimination and harassment in both online space and workplace.

The fellowship will end on Saturday and the next day’s extensive sessions will be conducted for how to be secure on digital platforms.

*The name of the journalist has been changed for security reasons



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