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Testimonials

Khawar Mumtaz

Chairperson
National Commission on the Status of Women

“Monitoring media for any kind of negative portrayal of women is the only way through which we can do the accountability. That͛s the mission of Uks that they take the voices of media consumers to the concerned authorities”

Robert M. Hathaway

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Washington, DC, USA

“I join Pakistan͛s friends around the world in saluting Uks ... It lays the groundwork for significant advances in the years ahead for Pakistani journalism, for female journalists, for the empowerment of Pakistani women, and more broadly, for Pakistan͛s national development. Far from an abstract manifesto unconnected to the real world, it focuses on practical measures to address social and economic challenges.”

Zubeida Mustafa

Senior Journalist

“Effort [by] Uks ... should go a long way towards exploding some myths which have blurred our conventional thinking about women͛s status in society and in the media. The fact is that the poor status and image of women in society are reflected in the media as they are in all other professions. In the case of the media it is more damaging. A larger female presence in the media could have at least rectified this aberration some what.”

Mr. I.A.Rehman

Human Rights Activist/Campaigner
Former Director, HRCP

“It has been my privilege to attend some of the programmes carried out by Uks for the last twenty years. Their work is well established and focused, specifically, on women. They have not only identified issues, but also provided women with a platform, where their achievements were put on showcase. Apart from that, Uks started a mission, where journalists would be trained, as to how one should project gender issues and a drive to recuperate them. Uks also made a Code of Ethics for media. All of this has earned Uks a very imminent place in civil society organizations who have stuck to their path, instead of roaming all over. They delivered in the area which it was needed.”

Mariane Pearl

Chime for Change
Managing Editor Journalism Platform

“This first, extensively researched and in-depth report who is telling our story by Uks, looking at the representation and portrayal of women in the Media in Pakistan is extremely relevant at both national and international levels. Women everywhere have the right to tell their own stories and share their perspectives. In Pakistan, women are courageously and often, quietly, asserting their desire to play an increasingly important role in society. The rules of quality journalism befit that desire. By providing accurate accounts of events, by holding those in power accountable and giving voice to the countless voiceless in their country, female reporters and writers are a precious asset that we should all support. Their voices are sure to go beyond the borders that may have contained them thus far.”

Ms Sheema Kermani

Performing Artist & Social Activist

“I think Uks is doing wonderful work. Its a great organization ... actually analysing and exploring the way women are portrayed in the media. Media has a great responsibility and I'm afraid in our country media is not playing a positive role in the portrayal of women, because the notions -the stereotyped notions - it projects, are the ideas that take shape in the minds of the people who are the audiences of television or radio. What we want is that people should change their negative ideas and notions about women, femininity and understand that women are equal citizens of this country.”

Sarah Macharia, Ph.D.

Co-ordinator, Global Media Monitoring Project
WACC, Toronto, Canada

“Research respondents feedback contained in ͚Who͛s telling our story poignantly illustrates the symbiotic nature of the interface between all aspects of media and the totality of women͛s (and men͛s) lived experiences, informing and re-informing each other. The recommendations contained here hold possibilities for rupturing this cycle, to pave the way, not only to a transformed worldview of a more gender-equitable social order, but also to professional media that is accountable to all publics.”

Mr Rana Jawad

Director News, Geo News

“..It͛s been a long journey for them [Uks] and I feel very proud to be a part of them. I joined them about eight-nine years ago [as member BoD] and I I've learned a lot from them, especially what was lacking in Pakistani media - which became a very robust industry in past decade or so - was code of conduct and code of ethics. Particularly when you know gender sensitivity was a concept which was entirely missing. So, Uks has taught us a lot, I learned a lot working with them, working for them, attending their seminars... I hope they will continue their good work!”

Afia Salam

Freelance Journalist & Consultant

“this path that Uks has ventured on, their commitment to eradicate the norms that have been a staple for the past decades or so, goes to show their commitment to their cause, their sincerity to their mission. I believe if it weren't for their commitment and sincerity to this cause, it would not have been possible and to use media as a means to make this a reality goes to show the vision of Uks by which they reached out to every class of the population. So, your sincerity will result in the betterment for the people and I wish them success and prosperity for their future and their success!”

Aidan White

Director, Ethical Journalism Network
London-England

“the report ͚Who is telling our story͛ on the portrayal and representation of women in Pakisatni media is aground-breaking contribution to the global fight for equality inside journalism and for truthful reporting on the status of women in society. Significantly, the report points to the need for ethical reflection through a gender-sensitive code that will provide the moral and professional basis for the defence of fundamental rights”

Mr. Hammad Siddiqui

Country Director,
Center for International Private Enterprise

“They [Uks] have been doing wonderful work for the promotion of journalism in Pakistan. CIPE has been one of their partners, Tasneem and her team has been doing wonderful work, they've produced documents and guides that are really useful for journalists. With the passage of time, what we've observed is that the number of women journalist has increased tremendously in the country and such efforts are required on a continuous pace, to build capacity of these journalists to produce best quality journalism in Pakistan.”

Ms. Archana Kapoor

Filmmaker/Activist, Director, SMART NGO
& Head of IAWART, India

“Congratulations to Uks ... for their pioneering work in foregrounding women's voices. They've done amazing work for bringing gender issues to the floor on a patriarchal society. I think they truly serve as a mirror that reflects the face of society that we live in, how we represent women, how we approach their issues, and how we look at their concerns. I've had occasion to work with them on a very amazing and fascinating projection women as peace builders, women demanding peace. We did fifteen podcast with them, they brought to the table professionalism, commitment and a lot of ideas. I wish the very best to Uks and its team, and I wish them more power and strength in the years to come.”

Mr. Asif Farooqi

BBC Urdu Service

“I too am a part of the Uks family, and by working with Uks I know that, the work that Uks is doing, is still something the Pakistani media hasn't done. The way Tasneem invited journalists like myself and told them, when writing a report on women, how they should be mentioned, what their issues are. The way she sensitised them is unparalleled in the Pakistani Media. Now the change we see on the media, specifically electronic media, on women's issues, we see a huge role of Tasneem and her team. I congratulate Uks and myself because I too am a part of Uks and I wish they can keep this work going.”

Ms. Fazila Gulrez

Vice Chairperson, Uks Board of Director

“My association [with Uks] has just been as old as Uks itself, and the journey has been a good one. Under Tasneem's leadership, Uks broke the silence on the role of portrayal of women in the media and create a whole new narrative on how women are viewed through the lens. The sensational headlines, the blatant angling of stories and putting the awareness of crime on women were some of the initial subjects Uks tackled. Through consistent and in-depth research Uks made media houses realise how demeaning language was used when talking about stories of women. Uks took stories out of news room, into the editors͛ office, into the news room, and into the reporters͛ room, by taking them all on board and changing how women were portrayed by and in the media. It created space for women in these roles, making them more confident and pro-active as journalists. Since then Uks has continued to move forward from one medium to another, it has widened the scope from print media to radio, research and more.”

Mr. Imran Rizvi

Managing Director,
RIZ Consulting

“I consider myself extremely fortunate to have known Tasneem for over two decades as my mentor in strategic communications. Tasneem lent a vision to us all on why strategic communications was critical to gender and development initiatives. We have lived by her ABC's of communications in both our personal lives and professional lives. A for Audience research, B for behaviour change, and C for change itself. Uks is an extension of Tasneem's vision for mainstreaming strategic communications. What is unique is Uks' deep commitment to ensuring that gender rights remain at the heart of all our development work. We are very pleased that she continues not only to impact on development initiatives but that Uks actually even develops code of ethics, it influences policy makers, it influences portrayals of men and women. I personally think their work on radio is central to reaching out to the vulnerable, to the women and finally I believe that Uks is unique in terms of its consistent focus on strategic communications.”

Ms. Uzma Alkarim

Head of Gender Sensitivity Committee,
Geo News

“Tasneem is very sensitive and works really hard, especially when it comes to gender sensitization, which is very good. Much has been achieved in the course of twenty years but for me, I think, the Code of Ethics is a milestone. It will be a huge success if the policy makers adopt this code of ethics.”

Ms. Gulmina Bilal Ahmed

Director, Individual-land Pakistan.

“What͛s a news story? What͛s a column? How do you actually read a newspaper, portrayal of different communities, angling of media and all of that I've learned from Uks... I still remember when Tasneem asked me to conduct a Focused group discussion (FGD) of women in media, of course I knew all the theory as to how to conduct a FGD but I had very limited experience. She wasn͛t scared, she wasn͛t scared of trying new people and even now, in the development sector I see a lot of people who owe a lot to Tasneem and Uks for taking a risk on them, so, thank you for gambling on us.”

Ms. Farzana Ali

Bureau Chief, Aaj News.

“When I think of Uks, the only thing that comes to my mind is mentor. Be it Ms Tasmeen or her team, the way I was schooled about gender and media, and how ͚gender͛ was being perceived at the time [in media] and the perspective that I had, was transformed by Uks. I noticed the mistakes that we [media persons] were making. I have learned all of this from Uks. Especially in Pukhtun Society it was quite difficult to convince male colleagues in newsrooms to present gender-just news stories. It became possible with the help of Uks͛s guidelines and Gender-sensitive Code of Ethics for Media. For me, Uks is the best choice in Pakistan, for the continuation of research and advocacy initiatives on gender equality in media, like the GMMP!”

Ms. Nabeela Aslam

Digital Storyteller & Communication Expert

“I've been associated with Uks for many years. Like the name states, Uks has been working hard to reflect change in media on its gender sensitivity. Uks has been under the leadership of Miss Tasneem and all the work being delivered by Uks has been a combined effort of Uks and people like me who are associated with Uks. They are bringing this change with the help of research, training, media monitoring and production. These aspects help construct a better medium. Uks is trying to empower women. I work whole heartedly with Uks. How fortunate are those who get to work for what they are passionate about and Uks has been tirelessly working towards this goal to change this patriarchal mind-set through media.”

Ms. Qudsia Mehmood

Freelance Social Development Consultant

“I joined Uks back in 2003 as radio producer and since then I have been a part of Uks. Whenever Uks has asked me to join them for a project or consultancy, I have always responded in the positive, and have always been happy about that decision.”

Ms. Rafia Arshad

Freelance Radio Producer

“Most of my radio-related work has been with Uks. My experience with Uks has been astounding. I would like to mention some of the things that Uks taught me. Foremost, in order to work professionally, you don't always need to have a huge setup, you can do a lot even in a small space. The work environment at Uks is conducive and relaxed. Most importantly, the freedom that I was fortunate to be given - I was never dictated or controlled. I believe these are some of the things that affect your work performance exponentially.”

Ms. Ayesha Amir

Former Research Associate and Radio Producer

“I have worked with Uks as a Research Associate and Radio producer. My experience has been pleasant and fulfilling. Uks has played a vital role for the welfare of women and gender equality. Uks has represented women in media with great sensitivity and positivity, and I'm happy that I have contributed to some of that.”