‘If you are a woman on your way to success… prepare to be hated” – Journalist Barkha Dutt says it like it is. A war reporter by choice Dutt has often been part of what’s otherwise considered ‘male territory’ but at the FICCI Frames 2015, she asserted the need for women to chase their dreams.
Jaggi Panda, chairperson of Ortel, who was spearheading the ‘Women in Media’ forum, said “Media is considered to be a very progressive industry, and is supposed to be a tool for inculcating gender sensitization. But the industry itself is as insensitive to its women as any other sector across India.”
“Sure, I see people like myself and Shobhana Bhartia controlling the reins at leading media houses, but we are hardly the norm. And the warped statistics tell us that there is something more at play here than mere coincidence,” said Barkha Dutt, addressing the career graph of women journalists- which seems to plateau after they attain mid-level management roles.
The glaring wage disparity in the media industry was another concern raised by the veterans. “One may have thought that a gender-based wage disparity is a thing of the past, but it very much still exists and needs to be addressed,” said Sonia Singh, senior journalist at NDTV.
On the other hand, we are at the brink of a golden era in women’s sports. Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, and Mary Kom have risen to the top in their respective sports, without, might I add- the full support they deserve from the country.
Abhishek Bachchan, also a panelist at the FICCI Frames’ sports discussion, agreed that it is worth lamenting over the paradox- a cricket-fanatic nation is not even aware that we have a supremely talented women’s cricket team- which happens to be performing almost as well internationally as our Men in Blue.
“I don’t know about cricket, but I am certainly focusing on bringing women Kabaddi players into the picture through my influence in the sport,” Abhishek Bachchan divulged. Stating it was too early to make any official announcements, he confirmed that this new initiative is certainly on his mind and agenda. “You bring the talent, we’ll bring the glamour,” he added
[Featured Picture Courtesy: We Are The Best. wordpress.com]