ISLAMABAD: Findings of the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) suggest that in the last five years, there has not been much progress towards equality between men and women in the news media across the world, however, improvement in this regard has been observed in the news media in Pakistan.

GMMP, a research project into gender portrayal in the news media, shows that worldwide, women make up only 24 per cent of the people heard, read about or seen in newspapers and television and radio news. This percentage has not improved since 2010.

According to a press release, women’s relative invisibility in the traditional news media has crossed over to digital news delivery platforms, with only 26 per cent women’s presence in news stories.

It says there is a global glass ceiling for female news reporters with just 37 per cent of stories being reported by women, the same as a decade ago.

However, the GMMP 2015 Pakistan National Report, which was compiled with cooperation from the Uks Research Centre, shows that unlike global trends, women’s presence in journalism has increased from 27 per cent in 2010 to 36 per cent in Pakistan this year.

Women reporters have increased from 11 per cent in 2010 to 16 per cent in 2015. However, a qualitative analysis of news stories revealed that women are often portrayed as ‘victims’ in the Pakistani media and that they are still trivialised and objectified.

Findings of the research say that the media in the country continues to ignore the realities of being a Pakistani woman with only four per cent of news stories challenging gender equality issues and no stories on the girl-child or on women’s economic participation. Reporting trends on the internet and social media tell a similar story.

The GMMP is the world’s longest running and most extensive research on gender in the news media and gives a detailed picture of the number of men and women in the world’s news on a particular day.

Uks, which has been monitoring Pakistani media for two decades, was chosen to coordinate GMMP for the second time.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2015

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