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Gender News

Woman Journalist From Dera Ismail Khan Swims Against The Tide

Pakistan is one of the countries where many women are deprived of their basic rights.

But it is also a fact that the lives of Pakistani women have changed during the past twenty years and they are more empowered than they were before. They now participate in the development of the country, which can be considered a good omen for the future of Pakistan.

Women face domestic violence, emotional abuse, forced marriages and sexual harassment; menaces that hinder their participation in mainstream society. Apart from these challenges, women in Pakistan also struggle for access to transportation and jobs in the private and government sector.

Despite all these serious social and domestic barriers, there are many women who are fighting against discrimination and are striving to change the horrific norms of the society.

Sameera Latif is one such woman. A young and emerging journalist hailing from a small village called Paniala, which is located on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan. She is one of those stars who have stood up against anti-women and conservative norms of society and is swimming against the tide.

Sameera belongs to a region which is very conservative, where women mostly live their lives inside the boundaries of their homes and have no right to get education or take part in social discourse.

Talking to Naya Daur, Sameera said, “I was one of the girls who had laid the foundation for other girls of my region because before, there was no female who was working in the field as a practical journalist.”

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She said it was her passion to be a journalist and to work for those who can’t raise their voice and have no one to support them.

Sameera is pursuing her career in journalism and is also a gold medalist in her class. According to her, she had many other fields to work in but she chose journalism with a motive to be a role model for all the other deprived girls. She believes that her actions will bring forth those qualified and skillful girls who are held back due to social norms.  

Regarding her struggle, Sameera said, “It was very difficult for me to come out and work in the field in such a male-dominant society. But besides my passion and love for my work, my mother supported me throughout my life and it was because of her support I am working fearlessly.”

Dera Ismail Khan is one of those regions of Pakistan where the ratio of women in education is very low due to social barriers.

“I urge women to come forward and fight for their rights because no one else is going to do it for them,” she said.

She said that tribal women should be given ample opportunities to play their due role in the social discourse as well as to ensure their participation in the decision-making process.

Sameera said that many times she wanted to quit the field of journalism due to the negative perception of the local people about this field, but then she realized that quitting the field was not the solution.

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She remained firm, strong, motivated and never gave up and finally achieved success in her battle for changing people’s perception, which she did through her positive work.

Sameera said, “Now, the situation has changed because initially, people did not give positive feedback about what I was doing. Now everything has changed and the people who used to taunt me are giving me much respect due to my work.”

Sameera is also running a page on social media with the name of ‘Independent Women’, which has more than forty-five thousand followers.

While talking to Naya Daur, Sameera’s mother said that Sameera was extraordinary from her childhood and from the very start wanted to do something special and unique. This, she said, was the reason that she laid the foundation of women citizen journalism in Dera Ismail Khan.

Sameera’s mother also informed that following the death of Sameera’s father, she had faced many issues in education her children. “We are living in a male dominant society so we have to be very careful while raising our children,” she said.

She said that she wanted to see her daughter fulfill her dream of becoming a national-level journalist one day.

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