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Hamari Tarraqui, Hamari Awaz (Our Development, Our Voice)

Radio series on the Role of Pakistani Women in Democracy

The project explores the present and future of Pakistani women in governance and the importance of having gender equity for democracy. The production will also research the problems – social or economic -faced by women in politics at all tiers. The project has been funded by US-based National Endowment for Democracy.

The overall proportion of women’s legislative and political representation in Pakistan has shot up to become the highest is South Asia. The reservation of seats as well as more women winning on general seats contributed to this improvement. The assumption of a new leadership role by a substantial number of women heralds the beginning of a new era of transformed political culture in Pakistan, which promises more space to women in public and political sphere than ever before, with the expectations that they would undertake initiatives to make their presence sustainable and its impact felt on the society.

Although the women in governance have increased in number but all these women are not politically aware. The need is not of a female candidate in the public office but a candidate who is pro-woman! Women are not asking for their rights. Are they organizing for political power? Are they coming out on the streets? Do they have any street power? Do they occupy public spaces? These are a few of the questions addressed in this series.

The producers of this project received training in radio journalism at Uks before beginning the actual production. The training was conducted to sensitize the producers to women and gender sensitive issues. Technical expertise was also imparted to them. The aim was to educate radio practitioners belonging to different regions so that they use their skills in their own localities to give voice to the suppressed and marginalized communities.

For this series the producers traveled to the following locations:

Bahawalpur, Ghani Kot, Ahamdpur Sharkia, Moza Ajaz Dera, (Southern Punjab) Khanna, Kirpa Union, Islamabad, (Islamabad Capital Territory ), Rawalpindi, Union Councils 26 and 27 Hassanabdal, Fauji Mills, Wah Cantonment, Hazro District (areas in the vicinity of Hassanabdal).

The 10-part series focuses on issues like:

  • Political and Legislative participation of women in Pakistan
  • Women's right to vote
  • Reserved seats for women, minorities and youth in Election 2008
  • Development issues including health and medical facilities, informal labour, education
  • Cultural, Social and (so-called) Religious impediments to women's participation in Politics

The following names are associated with this project:

Executive Producer : Ms. Tasneem Ahmar
Project/Technical Coordinator : Ms. Saadia Haq
Senior Producer : Ms. Rukhsana Mussarat
Radio Producers Team : Mr. Shakeel Ahamd Awan, Ms. Marium Kiani- Islamabad
Mr. Shaukat Ali Khan, Ms. Shehla Nazmeen - Hassanabdal
Ms. Saira Noreen, Mr. Adeel Javed Warraich - Bahawalpur
Music Composer : Ms. Gulrukh Khan
Presenter : Ms. Rukhsana Mussarat
Research Associate : Ms. Saniya Jafree