Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 08:21:33 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Women Advancement In Journalism

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed :
Women from Bengal appeared on the scene of journalism by editing periodicals during the British colonial era. The fortnightly 'Bangamahila' was the first periodical edited by a Bangali woman, which was published from 1 Boishakh 1277 BS (April 1870). Its editor was Mokshdayini Mukhopadhyay. The first gender-based monthly magazine run by women was 'Anathini', published in July 1875 (Sraban 1282). The first weekly magazine edited by a Bangali woman carried the name 'Bangabashini' that was launched on 28 September 1883. The first monthly magazine edited by a Muslim Bangali woman was Begum Safia Khatun's 'Annesha'. It was published from Boishakh 1328 (1921 CE).
The first periodical edited by a woman from East Bengal or present-day Bangladesh was 'Banganari'. It was brought out from Mymensingh in Ashwin 1330 BS (1923 CE) with Chinmoyee Devi as its editor. 'Papya' from Dhaka was the first quarterly magazine edited by a woman named Bibhabati Sen. Meant for children, this illustrated periodical was launched in 1334 BS (1927 CE), and later converted into a monthly from Ashwin 1335 BS (1928 CE). 'Tripura Hitoyishi' edited by Urmila Sinha used to be published from Cumilla and she was in charge of editing it from 1331 BS (1924 CE). The illustrated monthly 'Jayasree' edited by Leelabati Nag was first published from Dhaka in Boishakh 1338 BS (1931 CE).
Edited by Shamsunnahar and Mohammad Habibullah, the inaugural issue of the periodical 'Bulbul' was launched in 1340 BS (1933 CE). It was brought out thrice a year, but was later converted into a monthly from 1343 BS (1936 CE). Kamolbashini Devi was the principal editor of fortnightly 'Asrami' launched from Rangpur on 1 January 1941 CE. The first weekly edited by a Muslim woman was 'Begum', which was brought out on 3 Sraban 1354 BS (20 July 1947). Nurjahan Begum and Sufia Begum were responsible for editing it, but the former edited it single-handedly from the 12th issue onwards.   
'Sultana' was published on 14 January 1949 as the first weekly for women from the then East Pakistan. Its editors were Sufia Kamal and Jahanara Arzoo. The 'Naobahar' was brought out from Dhaka in Bhadra 1356 BS (1949 CE) under the editorship of Mahfuza Khatun. The 'Manashi' was published in Ashwin 1357 BS (1950 CE) from Pabna with the announcement that it was a monthly magazine from East Bengal. Its editor was Kumari Jyotsnarani Datta while the assistant editor was Anima Gupta.
Although the female journalists of Bangladesh were initially involved in editing periodicals only, they gradually entered other domains of journalism as well. The illumined presence of Bangladeshi women today in all branches of journalism is merely a continuation of their efforts since the nineteenth century. However, the entry of women in journalism was rather slow in this part of Bengal during the Pakistani era following the partition of the Indian subcontinent, and not many names of female journalists can be picked up from that era. Prominent among them were Laila Samad, Noorjahan Begum, Jahanara Arzoo, Mafruha Chowdhury, Mahfuza Khatun, Hasina Ashraf, Selina Parvin, Selina Hossain, Baby Moudud, Tahmina Sayeed, et al.
The scenario has changed a lot since the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state in 1971. Now, many educated women are entering the profession of journalism and their numbers and proportion are both increasing day by day. This is true not only for the print media but also for the electronic media.
According to a survey conducted by the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) in 1990, the representation of women in the print and electronic media of Dhaka was around 5% (4% in newspapers, 5% in Radio, and 6% in Television). Most of the women employed in newspapers were working in the editorial section, with a handful few involved in reporting assignments. It was found in the survey that although there was less discrimination between males and females in communication courses at the universities, opportunities for women to enter the profession were not equal or equitable.
The recruitment policies usually did not favour women, and not all jobs in journalism were open for them. Due to social and cultural constraints, the tasks of reporting and field-work were often not considered suitable for women. Therefore most of them were found to be engaged in desk-work in editorial sections. The situation in the electronic media, i.e. radio and television, was a bit better than newspapers in the sense that the proportion of female staffs was higher. This was mainly because of the existence of reserve quota for women in many jobs.
However, according to the latest figures furnished by 'Bangladesh Nari Sangbadik Kendra', there are at present around 1 thousand female journalists in the country. A report published by the 'Global Media Monitoring Project 2015', based on information collected from 144 countries including Bangladesh, reveals that 16 percent among the journalists of Bangladesh are women. The age of half the female journalists here range between 19 and 34 years, and none above 65 years could be found in the mass media outlets including television.
Female journalists numbering 102 were interviewed during a survey conducted by PIB in 2017 titled 'How satisfied professional journalists were, a research evaluation'. Around 18 percent among them were concerned about safety in the workplace, while 56 percent respondents said they were neglected or ignored in office. Around 50 percent mentioned about discourteous behaviour by their male colleagues and 7 among the respondents claimed they were sexually harassed at the workplace at different junctures. Around 10 female journalists disclosed they did not get maternity leave during pregnancy.  
There were only about 12 to 15 female journalists in Bangladesh during 1973 following the country's independence in 1971. This number got stuck at around one hundred towards the end of 20th century. But the number has now risen to over one thousand in a matter of mere two decades. Previously, the presence of women in newspaper offices was considered to be detrimental to a congenial working environment. But that attitude has now undergone a sea-change, as women are increasingly proving their worth in all areas of this profession including reporting, editing and photography. However, the speed with which women's involvement in journalism has been increasing is not yet commensurate with their productive potentials. But the trend-line shows their participation in the journalistic profession is bound to gather pace in the days and years to come. [PID-Project Feature]

 (Dr. Helal Uddin Ahmed is a retired Additional Secretary and former Editorial Consultant of The Financial Express, also writes for PID; email: hahmed1960@gmail.com)

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Custodial death goes as worst kind of disregard for law

ABU BAKAR Siddique Babu was arrested around 8:00pm on Saturday by Tejgaon Industrial Police. Later he was found hanging from the iron bars of a lockup room of the same police station around 3:00am on Sunday. He was pronounced dead at Dhaka Medical College Hospital about an hour later. It ...

City »

Vice-Chancellor of BSMMU Prof. Kanak Kanti Barua, among others, at a prèss conference on 'Deceased Donor Organ Transplantation' organised by different organisations at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.

Sports »

Brazilian legend Julio Cesar to arrive in Dhaka today

Former Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar will arrive in the city today (Wednesday) afternoon for a two-day visit as a FIFA ambassador for the ongoing Bangabandhu Gold Cup International Football Tournament.He is expected to land at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by Emirates Airways at 4.55 pm along with a FIFA ...

International »

Nothing done to fight climate change

AFP, Switzerland:Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday slammed global inaction on climate change in front of the world's top business leaders, as the annual Davos forum faced up to the perils of global warming while bracing for an address from US President Donald Trump.The 50th meeting of the World ...

Entertainment »

I am not fond of horror movies, but still wants to do one: Kriti Sanon

Kriti Sanon, who has worked in genres across drama, romance, comedy and historical, says she wants to explore herself as an actor."Everybody likes different kind of films here (in the country). If I want to cater to all kinds of audience and also explore myself as an actor in different ...

Entertainment »

Fatima Sana Shaikh's latest story from the sets of ‘Suraj Pe Mangal Bhari’

Fatima Sana Shaikh has a busy 2020 with three releases back and back. The actress will be seen in three different avatars for her films and the fans are excited to see the actress in various characters. Fatima has been sharing fun BTS snippets of the movies on her Instagram ...

Football »

Ronaldo double pulls Juventus clear as Inter stalled in Lecce

AFP, Milan :Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as Juventus beat Parma 2-1 to pull four points clear of Inter Milan at the top of the Serie A table on Sunday.Inter's title push hit another stumbling block after a 1-1 draw at lowly Lecce while Ante Rebic fired city rivals AC Milan ...

International »

Abe strikes conciliatory note on S.Korea, row may be easing

Reuters, Tokyo :Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that South Korea was its "most important neighbour" and that the two shared basic values, taking a conciliatory tone towards the country that has been locked in a bitter row with Tokyo for over a year.The comment comes after South ...

City »

Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha formed a human chain in front of the National Museum in the city's Shahbagh on Monday urging all to be united to make South Asia fair.

Entertainment »

Chamok Tara acts in Padatik’s play today

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Country’s one of the popular theatre troupes, Padatik Nattya Sangsad will turn into 43 today. In its long time journey, Padatik produced 41 plays till now. Macbeth, Jonomanko, Kalratri, Mouse Trap, Beder Meye, Gohonjatra, Sojon Badiar Ghat, Maa, Kaler Jatra, Monsar Pala, Chandraboti, Chokkor, Khetmojur Khoimuddin, etc ...

Editorial »

Banks to face dire consequences for govt's contradictory borrowing policy

THE government is borrowing funds from banks at more than 9 per cent interest rates against treasury bills and bonds, which contradicts its move to force banks to implement 9 per cent lending rate. As per rules, lending to the government or even against any government guarantee does not create ...

Sports »

Members of Group Skyliners of the United States pose on the podium after winning the 16th Zagreb Snowflakes Trophy synchronized skating competition in Zagreb, Croatia on Saturday.

International »

Maduro ready to open direct talks with US

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he was still comfortably in charge and open to direct negotiations with the US, in an interview published Saturday by The Washington Post.The interview was Maduro's first with a major US outlet since February of last year, when he abruptly ejected all Univision journalists from ...

Entertainment »

Tisha’s Pori O Panir Bottle on Customs Day

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :January 26 is the Customs Day. To mark the day, RTV will telecast a special play titled Pori O Panir Bottle on that day at 8:15pm. National Film Award winner actress Nusrat Imroz Tisha acted in an important role against Mosharraf Karim in the play directed by ...

Entertainment »

Raima has her fingers crossed for Dwitiyo Purush release

Raima Sen, who will soon make her Tamil debut with Agni Siragugal is all geared up for the release of Srijit Mukherji’s next Dwitiyo Purush alongside Parambrata Chatterjee. Like everyone else, she is also pretty much excited about this sequel and believes this one will also have a similar effect ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news