Gendered Disinformation and Women in Media

Global Neighbourhood for Media Innovation, in collaboration with Alumini Exchange Program and World Learning, held a workshop specifically for women. The training was created in order to facilitate the participants understanding in how to challenge fake news, disinformation and malinformation in traditional media and online spaces. The training was held on 5th March, 2020, at Press Club, Islamabad.

Head trainer and founder GNMI, Najia Ashar gave a briefing regarding the challenges that women face in the media, whether it is electronic, print or digital. The participants were all women who are active in the media landscape and have first-hand experience in receiving hate and backlash in online and traditional media. The presence of women in public spaces such as digital and traditional media is steadily increasing and so are the attacks against them. For this reason, it is imperative that they be equipped with the means to counter these targeted assaults against their freedom of expression and personal safety.

MIL for Women was a full day workshop where aside from head trainer Ashar, Sadaf Khan was as the second trainer and renowned senior journalist Gharida Farooqi as guest speaker, were also present. Sadaf Khan has a long background in media and media development and her experience in effective policies for open and secure media practices allowed for her to bring that insight to the participants during the training.

In 2019 The Coalition for Women in Journalism issued a statement condemning the online harassment campaign against Gharida Farooqi which was just one of the many experiences of the sort that Farooqi has endured. This allowed for her to provide pragmatic avenues of discourse when faced with targeted attacks not just from online trolls but also institutional and systemic assaults. The workshop was interactive and invited the participants own personal experiences in navigating these male dominated spaces in media and digital arenas.

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