Swat’s First Woman Journalist Denied Press Club Membership Due To Her Gender
Swat’s first woman journalist Shaista Hakim says her journalistic credentials were never accepted by the local journalist community due to her gender. In 2009 at the time of military action in Swat, she was a resident of Syeda Sharif hostel of Swat and was an Intermediate student.
In an interview with a local publication, she spoke about the time she had to displace from her home due to war on terror. She says the law and order situation was gradually being affected by terrorism and one day the government announced that an operation against Taliban has commenced. People were asked to travel to safer areas and she also left her hostel and migrated to a different area along with her family.
“I saw the young, elderly and children migrating under tough circumstances, and this is what motivated me to become a journalist. I became the first woman journalist of Swat”, she says.
Shaista has been a journalist for the last nine years, and she has been associated with Radio Pakistan, Tribal News Netweork (TNN) among other media groups.
“But local journalists are not ready to acknowledge my journalistic identity”, she lamented. Shaista further said that she had been denied the membership of Swat Press Club as well as Electronic Media Association because those who call the shots there do not acknowledge women journalists’ hard work. During her reporting career, Shaista worked on difficult news stories in Swat and Chitral, but her work remains unappreciated.