KU’s MERC Celebrates International Women’s Day

SRINAGAR: In connection with the International Women’s Day, the Media Education Research Centre (MERC), Kashmir University organized a webinar today, where the invited speakers discussed the role of Women in Media.

Webinar on International Women’s Day organized by the Media Education Research Centre (MERC), Kashmir University

An official handout said that prominent female media professionals, Anuradha Bhasin, Rukhsana Jabeen, Dr Surbhi Dahiya and Shahana Butt graced the occasion and shared their experiences as media professionals

Listing the challenges women in media face while discharging their duties, Executive Editor of The Kashmir Times, Anuradha Bhasin discussed the changing face of journalism particularly in the context of Jammu and Kashmir. “The stereotyping and conflict have pushed women out of newsrooms”, she remarked.

“However, the arrival of newly trained professionals is helping women to reclaim their space in the newsrooms”, she added.

“Women in journalism not only bring their perspective but also help in mainstreaming gender-related stories. Women face more scrutiny and have to prove their credentials to be treated at par with men”, she observed.

Acknowledging the contribution of MERC in the field of journalism, she said, “MERC has given the finest journalists to the media industry.”

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Surbhi Dahiya, Director of English Journalism at Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi, recalled her journey from a working journalist to an academic.

Asking the participants to pursue their dreams and to see an opportunity in every challenge, she said, “Nobody can stop you if you are committed enough.”

Rukhsana Jabeen, former Director of the then Radio Kashmir, presently AIR Srinagar, while sharing her experiences said, “Radio gave me an identity. I received a lot of appreciation from the audiences.”

About her initial years, she said “I struggled a lot to convince my family regarding my career choice.”

“Times have changed now. Women now get more support from their families to make their career choices”, she said

Shahana Butt, correspondent of the Press TV talked about the lack of opportunities for women journalists in the valley.

“We need more women broadcast professionals in the valley”, she said

While highlighting the issues faced by working women at various levels, she suggested, “Women need to support women.”

Prominent among those present on the occasion included Nasir Mirza, senior faculty and former HoD, MERC and Dr Aaliya, Head, MERC among other staff members, students and prominent citizens.

Prof Sabeha Mufti conducted the proceedings while Dr Syeda Afshana, Associate Professor, MERC provided the technical support.

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