Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Valley Voices: Empowering women in rural Pakistan

03/02/2023

The finale of the third Valley Voices project saw women journalists and writers gain confidence in writing about some of the more controversial topics facing women in Pakistan at a workshop with our partner - the Tribal News Network (TNN).

Tackling writing blogs was the first task for the group under the mentorship of documentary filmmaker, multimedia journalist and blogger Sabin Agha. Prior to Sabin's session, most of the participants were unfamiliar with blogging and would be unlikely to write about some of the more contentious issues.

The all-women group of journalists and writers involved in this project live and work in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in North West Pakistan - a very traditional, conservative part of Pakistan, where most women have a little or no access to formal education, and are hugely underrepresented in the media.

With Sabin's coaching the women grew in confidence and skills, and gained the ability to write from a personal, female perspective on important - yet often neglected - topics affecting women and their rights.

In a place where women's voices are rarely heard or represented, breaking with the prevalent social conventions and hierarchical structures is a big first step towards empowering women to pursue careers in the media.

I was surprised to see that the bloggers picked up very bold and taboo topics like gender discrimination, domestic violence, and harassment against women.

Sabin Agha, trainer I appreciate TNN for publishing all these blogs, as they were written without fear or reluctance, says Sabin Agha.

Earlier in the project, nine focus group discussions had been held with local women in the region, thus giving the reporters first-hand information on what local female audiences actually want to consume. The topics raised included harassment, jobs and economic opportunities for women, gender inequality, education, health and cooking.

Trainer and gender analyst Qudsia Mehtab Mehmood sees this part of the project as a step forward in creating gender-balanced stories which are mostly lacking in local media coverage.

Sabin opened our minds regarding blogging and removed the fear which was inside us.

Valley Voices mentee

-- Play

-- --

The process of pitching was the focus of another workshop session. Multimedia journalist Sana Gulzar and Executive Producer at TNN Khalida Niaz shared their newsroom knowledge on how to communicate with editors, pitch stories, and how to react to feedback and criticism.

TNN News Editor Hina Gul shared the rebranding process of TNN. She says the organisation has evolved over time and the new identity better represents the organisation as independent, progressive, gender-inclusive, and a voice of marginalised groups.

The workshop concluded by sharing participants' feedback on the impact they would love their stories to have. For some, like Nausheen, the change has been bigger than they ever imagined.

Professionally, it changed me so that I can read and write more than before, and also I learned how to write many things I learned to lock the ocean in a jar' (how to say the big story in a few words), she says.

I learned how to write controversial and difficult topics easily and have started earning through writing. Now I am an independent woman.

Nausheen, a Valley Voices mentee

About the Valley Voices project For women in Pakistan, the fight for empowerment and equality comes with a specific set of challenges and struggles. Women are rarely part of the public sphere, with little to no participation in decision-making, often being misrepresented or subjects of discrimination in media. With their voices constantly silenced, the Valley Voices project aims to make them active participants in content creation and local media engagement.

For the first time, women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in North West Pakistan were asked about their media consumption habits and interests in a programme designed to make local media more relevant to them and enhance their political participation. Starting with the premise that the only way women can truly be represented in the media is by including as many women journalists as possible, Thomson Foundation teamed up with a local partner, the Tribal News Network (TNN), to provide them with the necessary tools.

Since 2020, Thomson Foundation has been working with the Tribal News Network (TNN) on ways to give women a voice, both as producers and consumers. An audience study revealed interesting insights into womens media consumption habits and expectations. These informed several training and mentoring sessions on mobile journalism productions, aimed at a women audience, including illiterate women from remote districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. TNNs local reporter network was strengthened by providing relevant skills and confidence to young women reporters and bloggers.

Related content

Why female journalists in Pakistan dont like coffee

Read Sabin Aghas blog on the treatment of journalists in Pakistan

Valley Voices - Enhancing womens political participation

Learn about a programme focused on media production for women in Pakistan

Empowering women in Pakistans rural communities

Topics that matter the most to Pakistani women

Explore our projects across the globe
LINK: http://www.thomsonfoundation.org/latest/valley-voices-empowering-women...
See more stories from thompsonfoundation

More from Thomson

22/03/2023

Ukraine: collaboration in time of war

One million refugees have been welcomed into Germany since the Russian invasion who aside from being far from home have lost contact with their community and in...

21/03/2023

Building the Resilience and Relevance of independent media

Millions of people in Tajikistan have read, watched and listened to an extraordinary social media campaign which has clearly shown the population's hunger f...

08/03/2023

Valley Voices: Accessing women s voices

It's August in Pakistan and much of the country is underwater. Catastrophic flooding has killed hundreds, left millions homeless and destroyed infrastructur...

15/02/2023

She Leads Media: Bettina Fellowship scales up at Africa Media Festival

A strong, fearless and effective media, where talent is recognised and rewarded regardless of gender. That's the goal of She Leads Media: Bettina Fellowshi...

07/02/2023

Bad news for false news: how we re countering misinformation in Sudan

Our pioneering WhatsApp course is leading the way in training journalists and citizens to spot misinformation and disinformation in Sudan - a country targeted b...

03/02/2023

Valley Voices: Empowering women in rural Pakistan

The finale of the third Valley Voices project saw women journalists and writers gain confidence in writing about some of the more controversial topics facing wo...

23/01/2023

Connect 6: Thomson Foundation launches mentor programme

Take six of the brightest young journalists and connect them to six of the best in the industry and you have the recipe for Connect 6', a new, world-class ...

10/01/2023

Unique new course on the art of writing news analysis

You're a journalist and news breaks that Pele, arguably the greatest footballer the world has ever known, has died. A colleague in your newsroom is assigned...

14/12/2022

A mobile masterclass for South African award winners

Two former winners of the Vodacom Young Journalist of the Year award in South Africa have finally been treated to their prize of an all-expenses paid trip to Lo...

08/12/2022

Why female journalists in Pakistan don t like coffee

Sabin Agha is a Pakistan-based documentary filmmaker, multimedia journalist and a blogger. She has been teaching women journalists at Tribal News Network (TNN)...

29/11/2022

Yashraj Sharma, Young Journalist Award 2022 Winner

Yashraj Sharma is the interim editor of the online news portal of The Kashmir Walla. He is the winner of the Thomson Foundation's Young Journalist Award 202...

25/11/2022

Yashraj Sharma, Young Journalist Award 2022 Finalist

Yashraj Sharma is the interim editor of the online news portal of The Kashmir Walla. He is a finalist in Thomson Foundation's Young Journalist Award 2022. ...

24/11/2022

Jyoti Yadav, Young Journalist Award 2022 Finalist

Jyoti Yadav is a journalist from New Delhi, working for India's fastest growing news website The Print. She is a finalist in Thomson Foundation's Young ...

23/11/2022

Carlos Ral Kestler, Young Journalist Award 2022 Finalist

Carlos Ra l Kestler is a 23-year-old journalist from Guatemala. He is a finalist in Thomson Foundation's Young Journalist Award 2022. Every time a tyre t...

21/11/2022

Empowered - a year on from winning the Young Journalist Award

One year ago, I woke up and was surprised to find out the great news that I was selected as the winner of Thomson Foundations Young Journalist Award 2021. This ...

07/11/2022

How to write news stories better

Ewen Macaskill introduces the second in his series of news writing courses for the Thomson Foundation - Advanced Writing: The art of storytelling Storytelling...

04/11/2022

New safety course for Ukrainian journalists

During a time of war, it's essential that journalists are prepared for any eventuality, however unlikely. With that in mind, Thomson Foundation has respon...

20/10/2022

Revealing the 2022 Young Journalist Award finalists

It has been tough three weeks for the panel of judges at the UK Foreign Press Association (FPA) who had the unenviable task of selecting three finalists for the...

19/10/2022

Environmental journalism courses now available in Arabic

Three landmark environmental training courses devised by the Thomson Foundation have been translated into Arabic as part of a major push to guide and inform loc...

28/09/2022

Young Journalist Award shortlist revealed

A remarkable number of entries arrived from all over the world for this years Young Journalist Award - Cameroon to Colombia, Ukraine to Uganda and Egypt to Ecua...

12/09/2022

Why Pakistan needs more women leaders

This article is written by Hudaibia Iftikhar, a blogger working in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan. Despite being highly educated, she holds a ...

23/08/2022

Western Balkans footprints: Innovation in media training makes an impact

Running a media organisation in the Western Balkans (WB) is far from easy. A region beset by instability, corruption with challenges to media freedom which prov...

08/08/2022

WhatsApp misinformation course goes viral

A digital learning course on mis and disinformation delivered via the messaging platform WhatsApp has gone viral in Sudan. The first seven days after publicat...

28/07/2022

Why the environment crisis doesn t make news in Serbia

Dina or evi is a journalist with the Centre for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS). She has won a number of national and international awards for her w...

01/07/2022

Fresh perspectives: Young Journalist Award 2022

Thomson Foundation is celebrating 60 years of promoting excellence in journalism and to mark the occasion, we're offering six rising stars the chance to con...

24/06/2022

Finding Africa s new voice

Hello, can you hear me? The zoom screen springs to life and the responses quickly follow. Yes, we can. Good morning . The greetings come from Kenya, Nigeri...

20/06/2022

A new chapter in a migration story

The crisis in Ukraine has again focused world attention on the plight of refugees and mass migration. It has also challenged journalists to report on the issue ...

10/05/2022

Changing the way news and stories about Africa are told

The moment you see your byline next to a story is a magical moment for any journalist. It brings with it a sense of relief, pride and hope that you'll get n...

06/05/2022

International success for Montenegrin mobile journalist

Success in our training programmes is measured in many ways but one of the most rewarding is reading or watching powerful stories produced by young journalists ...

25/04/2022

Shifting the focus: Sudan on the edge of change

A pioneering band of creatives in Sudan are promoting social change through photography. The Thomson Media training for digital media entrepreneurs formed part ...

31/03/2022

Telegram course: Reacting to a chemical attack

Chemical and biological weapons may be banned but that has not stopped them being used in recent conflicts and for journalists reporting on the war in Ukraine k...

25/01/2022

A vote of confidence: Empowering women politicians in Gagauzia

The look of politics in Gagauzia, the small autonomous territory in southern Moldova, is decidedly male. Just two of the 35 members of local parliament are wome...

13/01/2022

The Bettina Fund: Transforming women's careers

Eleven women who participated in the inaugural Bettina Fund - Women in Media Leadership programme say it will transform their careers as they have gained confid...

18/12/2021

Investigating Moldova: Journalists pick up two awards

Stories on ecology and corruption, developed with Thomson Media support, are among the best investigations of the year. By Dima Stoianov, media support expert ...

17/12/2021

Boosting media portrayals of minorities in the Western Balkans

Media in minority languages are relatively well developed, but one segment is significantly neglected in the six countries of the Western Balkans - Albania, Bos...

14/12/2021

The definitive guide to podcasting has arrived

Award-winning podcasters and journalists from the UK, India, Kenya, Australia and South Africa have joined forces to create what's believed to be the first ...

08/12/2021

Podcasts: Why I love audio

The 7th of January 1991 was a big day for me. It was the day I started working as a radio journalist. As someone who writes for a living, I'm supposed to a...

30/11/2021

Persistence pays off for the first ever Malaysian Young Journalist winner

PROFILE: Young Journalist Award 2021 winner It was Kai Hui Wong's persistence in her investigations which led her to reveal abuses of power that convin...

30/11/2021

Doing the groundwork: Monika Mondal wins our environmental prize

PROFILE: Young Journalist Award 2021 (environment) winner It's hard to believe that Monika Mondal only started her journalism career last year at the hei...

17/11/2021

Who are the Young Journalist Award 2021 finalists?

Three journalists - from India, and for the first time, Colombia and Malaysia - are the finalists for the 2021 Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award, in par...

06/11/2021

We can change our migration narrative - election time is a good time to do it

By Eileen Truax Eileen is a journalist specialising in migration working with Thomson Media on Moving Voices - a project looking at cross border issues affectin...

02/11/2021

All fired up: The journalists addressing the climate emergency with words and actions

As world leaders gather for COP26, it is a pertinent time to showcase the work o...

20/10/2021

When diversity in newsrooms and newsleadership is not enough

In the latest in a series of personal reflections on womens role in the media, Luba Kassova, author of The Missing Perspectives of Women in News reflects on why...

16/10/2021

Meet the new generation of journalists making a mark

It's one of those points in the annual media calendar that early-career journalists await on the edge of their seats - and the moment has arrived. We can ...

06/10/2021

Women in media: Confronting the confidence gap

A confidence gap is a constant theme when discussing the lack of women in leadership positions in media. Why do women feel that they dont merit their success mo...

20/09/2021

Circular economy: Bringing the intellectually ambitious concept to life

Chances are, most things that currently surround you have been produced following the principles of the linear economy. From the clothes that you wear to the ph...

13/09/2021

Why we're all environmental journalists now

Journalists have a unique role to play in changing the narrative around the worlds environmental breakdown and becoming an essential part of the solution. Hear ...

08/09/2021

The next generation of leaders in Kenya's media

Twelve women aiming to become future leaders and entrepreneurs in Kenya's media. They were chosen from more than 500 who applied to join the inaugural progr...

23/08/2021

Encounters with a Sudanese artist pushing for a brighter future

Profile: Reem Al Jeally, Sudan A matriarchal figure is painted on a concrete wall on Jamhuriya Avenue, next to the University of Khartoum. Her face is not depic...

17/08/2021

Truth always wins - spotlight on former Young Journalist winner, Martin Camacho

Applications are open for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award, one of the highlights of the UK's Foreign Press Association Awards. Closes Septembe...