Yoon Joung Lee
There are some female Pakistani journalists who catch public attention as these women headed media/publications in Pakistan. Sherry Rehman is one of these examples. Sherry was the editor-in-chief of Pakistan’s leading news magazine, The Herald, for ten years and was a member of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) for a year before she plunged into a political career. From 2002 to 2007, she served as an Member of the National Assembly as Central Information Secretary. In 2008, she was re-appointed as a Member of the National Assembly, and Prime Minister Ysuf Gilani appointed her Minister for Information and Broadcasting.
Maleeha Lodhi is also a well known face in Pakistani media and politics. She worked as an editor for the English language newspaper, The Muslim and later edited, The News International. These works gave her the title: the first female in Asia to edit national daily newspaper. From 1994 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2002, she served as the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States. From 2001, she served on the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs. From 2003 to 2008, she was appointed to Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Another prominent Pakistani journalist was Razia Bhatti. Razia was an editor for The Herald which consistently represented voice for democracy, Government corruptions, social improvement and the freedom of press even during the chaos of Karachi and the political turmoil of Pakistan. In 1989, she resigned as a editor of The Herald, and she founded an independent staff-owned magazine, Newsline which became Pakistan’s most influential political monthly.
It is true that the presence of women in the Pakistani media has grown. It could be a social trend of promoting media as a career for women in Pakistan. It could be the proliferation of television channels in Pakistan. However, there is still invisible and visible gender discrimination existing such as discriminatory salaries, working conditions or sexual harassment in the work place. Therefore, not all women who studied journalism will enter into press.
Some of prominent female journalists introduced above are survivors from battlefields because the way they have come through was not an easy process. These women can be a great role model for the women out there who want to be like them. These women also bring attention to society about women’s issues that have been neglected in Pakistan society for a long time. More women in newsroom and politics means better projection projection of women related issues.
Yoon Joung Lee
The first woman elected the Prime Minister of England in 1979, Margaret Thatcher, was born in 1925 in Grandtham, England. She was born to Alfred and Beatrice Roberts. Her father owned a couple of grocery shops and he was also a respected local politician serving as lay-leader with their church.
Since her father was an active town politician, she was introduced to conservative politics by her father from her early years. A smart young girl, Margaret studied chemistry at Oxford University. There, she became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association and she was significantly influenced by various political works including Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944). In 1947 she finished her study at Oxford with Second Class Honours in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree. After graduating college, Thatcher worked as a research chemist in Colchester.
While she worked as a chemist, she met her husband, Denis Thatcher who was a successful businessman. They married in 1951. After her marriage, she took time off to study law and the couple had twins, Carol and Mark, the next year.
In 1953, as she became a barrister, she went back to the political arena. In 1959 she won a seat in the House of Commons, representing Finchley. Two years later in 1961, she was appointed to joint parliamentary secretary for Pensions and National Insurance at the government of Harold Macmillan. In 1970, Thatcher was appointed Minister for Education and Science. Her new budget cutting campaign, eliminating free school milk for children over seven and increasing school meal charges created great controversy. When the Conservative party lost general elections in 1974, she defeated Edward Heath for the party’s leadership. In 1979, she was elected Prime Minister and served for eleven and a half years which was the longest term for any British Minister in the 20th Century.
Her eleven and a half years tenure was eventful. Thatcher led England out of an economic recession, inter-city riots and miners’ strike, and brought Falkland war to a victory. In 1990 returning for a third term, she was forced to resign as Prime Mister because she lost a lot of support by her efforts to implement a fixed rate local tax called a poll tax and her refusal to endorse a common currency for Europe led the Conservative party.
After her resignation, she travelled over the world lecturing and served as president of numerous organizations dedicated to her causes. For the last few years, she suffered from her health issue and no longer speaks in public. Thatcher received people’s attention not only because she was the first female minister, but because her work and effort led England out of a long recession and led a war in defense of the British Falkland Islands.