Story of Uks
Uks is a research, resource and publication centre dedicated to the cause of gender equality and women's development. We are an advocacy and rights-based group seeking to raise awareness and assist implementation of our goals and ideals. The Center focuses on the women-media relationship; a concern that has hitherto remained poorly represented by organizations working on women's rights.
Although conceptualized in early March 1997, Uks was formally inaugurated in December 1997 through a panel discussion on “Empowering Women through Media" with Ms. Jane O'Reilly, founder member of Ms. Magazine (USA) as the chief guest.
The word 'Uks' is an Urdu term meaning 'reflection'. At Uks, our team of professional media persons and research staff aims to promote the reflection of a neutral, balanced and unbiased approach to women and women's issues within, and through the media. The Center has already won the support of many journalists, human rights and women's rights activists, academics and other like-minded groups.
Since its inception in 1997, Uks has monitored media, conducted research on emerging trends, particularly regarding gender and women development, and undertaken trainings and workshops to raise awareness about crucial issues amongst media.
Uks views the mass media as an exceedingly important part of our day-to-day living, reflecting and, to a large extent, determining our daily life and ideological beliefs. Therefore it aims to utilize, in its entirety, the services of our media to effectively improve the present status of the Pakistani woman and to highlight the importance of her role in national development. Uks, with its team of professional media persons and researchers, aims to look at various aspects of women-media relationship.
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- To work towards a more widely accepted understanding of a gender perspective in media.
- Providing training in gender sensitization and awareness of media persons while incorporating their suggestions and feedback to help in our own understanding, awareness and evolution.
- To develop media-related documentation and database covering issues that impact women
- Promoting a neutral, unbiased and balanced attitude towards women in media.
Plan of Activities:
Holding of Workshops and Seminars
Uks is a forum for debate, discuss and implementation. It initiates and organizes workshops and seminars on themes that need urgent attention.
Networking with other groups
Uks relies upon mutual support and assistance with other agencies and NGO’s, national as well as international
Since Uks is basically an NGO focusing on media. Internet cannot be overlooked. Its Internet site will provide info and access to interested agencies on a mutual ground
Feedback and Feed Forward
Communication is the key word for any kind of project and programming. Uks follows the pattern of Feedback and Feed Forward to establish its linkages with agencies and the community. By inviting their comments and critique, it derives a guideline to devise / alter methodologies for more effective results.
Documentation and Database
Being a resource centre, this section uses the cut-and-paste method to preserve newspaper clippings on all issues concerning women. Ten to Twelve, national, local daily, weekly and afternoon newspapers are regularly scanned. Plans are to enter the headlines, dates and name of the publication on computer for easy access
Publication of Reports
Compiling reports on various research, trainings, workshops and projects undertaken by Uks
Uks Radio Project
Uks Radio Production House has a state-of-the art studio which was formally established in 2003 with the launch of programmes funded by Internews. It has an all female crew which handles all activities from research and production to mixing and editing! So far this production house has ten successful productions under its belt and two more in the making. The programmes are aired from FM radio stations across Pakistan and a few international FM radio stations as well.
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As we celebrate a decade of Uks there are a few milestones that we believe we have achieved. We realize that completing a project or launching a publication is not enough without sustained effort of ensuring that the message is not lost after the initial euphoria.
Uks gender sensitivity awards
The awards were given to reporters /journalists for adhering to gender sensitive code of ethics for training a large number of journalists in gender sensitivity and reporting on women in a fair and non-stereotypical manner.
Uks radio project
Though initially conceived as a research, resource and publication centre we have become a media centre with our own radio production house. While it is important to critically analyze the projection of gender roles in mainstream media, it was at times frustrating to be faced with the same stereotypes that we had been condemning all along. Projection vis-a-vis women centered on beauty, fitness, cooking recipes. Putting together programmes that are gender sensitive in nature, highlighting the achievement of women as well as deal with the realities of being a woman in Pakistan; battling numerous odds at day-to- day level. We hope that the success of our programmes has aptly demonstrated that issue-based programmes have an audience as well and the demand-supply theory needs to be seriously reconsidered in this regard.
Annual Desk Diary-Our Trademark
A product of exhaustive research, the annual desk diary has become the trademark of our organization. It is a handy document, which also serves as a striking collector's item. To give a well-rounded view of the theme for a particular year, essentially related to women development, press clippings, opinions, poetry, illustrations and a detailed chronology of events are given. The diary is widely circulated among media persons, human and women's rights activists, international agencies and government organizations.
In 2002 Uks published 'Changing Images' a national study on monitoring and sensitization of the print media on the portrayal of women. It can act as a valuable resource to researchers, students and anyone interested in pursuing further analysis. This study was the first of its kind in Pakistan, breaking new ground by providing overviews of media coverage, an expression of concern by those directly involved in producing newspapers and magazines, and an in-depth analysis of specific categories of items. The findings represent the first effort in Pakistan to analyze gender issues in the print media.
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Being a Resource Center, Uks uses the cut and paste method to preserve newspaper clippings on all issues concerning women. Ten to Twelve, English and Urdu language daily, weekly and afternoon newspapers are daily scanned with the office bearing a comprehensive record since 1998. This is open to public who can make use of it for the purpose of research and analysis. The data is essentially invaluable to the Uks team in facilitating our study of emerging media trends, the shifting balance of gender representation and portrayal of other issues of human concern like HIV/AIDS and human trafficking.
This data is being digitalized under the banner of PWMN. This project is funded by Embassy of United States. The project was initiated successfully in October 2009. Uks is uploading Approx 400 files, each file contains 350 pages approx, 400 files contain almost 1, 40,000 pages, Approx 2792 words on a single clipping, 1, 40,000 pages contain 390880000 (39 million approx) words. To access this data please visit:
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