Roundtable discussions in Media Baithak were arranged particularly to take experts and senior professional’s point of view on issues related to democratic processes, social justice and accountability, human rights, gender equality, and education in order to draft a policy recommendation for legislative body of Pakistan. As per the given objective, in each roundtable discussion several warily chosen speakers were invited. 7 roundtable discussions were held in Media Baithak program from 28 June 2019 to 26 November 2019. Following is the brief overview of each roundtable discussion, for further detail of each roundtable discussion please visit newsroom page.
Contemporary Education and the Promotion of Inclusive Policy Framework for Counting Violent Extremism in Pakistan
HUM AWAZ joined hands with Global Neighbourhood in Media Baithak program on 28th June 2019 to draft a policy recommendation to government for legislation through discussions between experts, educationists, psychologists, media entrepreneurs, journalists, and lawmakers. They all agreed to the recommendations that a uniform education system should be introduced with a uniform syllabus, all stakeholders must work out with government authorities for sustainable advancement of educational system of Pakistan, and students must be productively engaged in co-curricular and research-based activities to curb violent extremism in educational institutes and overall society.
Enhancing Women’s Role in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan
Evidence indicates that women in countering extremism focused more on reconciliation, economic development, education and transitional justice-all are critical elements of sustained peace. This root idea was emphasized in the round-table meeting on 26th July 2019 by Media Baithak. The discussion was held to discuss and devise a framework on resolving pressing issues in collaboration with media practitioner and active civil society members. The roundtable was aimed to enhance women pivotal in countering violent extremism in Pakistan from the bottom up as well as from the top down, engaging multiple stakeholders. It was further aimed to constitute a policy draft based on recommendations from the speakers for legislation reference. “Easiest and perhaps the best role of women in countering violent behavior start from her home, as a mother, daughter, sister or as a wife she can do wonders Women understand other point of views, this creates an environment where in discussed openly, analyzed, option found. pros and cons for all parties mened and the most preferred for all agreed upon Zofeen T. Ebharm Investigative Journal emphasized on grass root involvement of women for the same cause.
Youth Policy to Empower Our Next Generation Preferences Perception and Policy Responses
The purpose of the round-table meeting, titled “Youth Policy to Empower Our Next Generation Preferences Perception and Policy Responses” held on 26th July 2019, was to discuss and review the provincial youth policies and its implementation. It also looked into the question of whether the approved policies helped young people to develop knowledge, skills and required competences. The discussion also revolved around proposed policies that could allow young people to be actors of democracy, integrate into society and play an active role in both civil society and labour market The key measures of youth policies are to promote citizenship learning and integration.
Freedom Of Expressions and Media Pluralism in the Age of Democratization
Freedom of expression and democracy grow side by side in a society as the more media freedom and human right like freedom of expression are given in a society the more democratic it becomes. These apparently different but synonymous concepts have been recognized vital for peace in a society throughout the world, but in Pakistan the landscape of freedom of expression and media pluralism has been shrinking day after day. To counter this growing problem “Freedom Of Expressions and Media Pluralism in the Age of Democratization” a roundtable discussion held on September 5th, 2019. The discussion revolves around notorious “Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill 2015” in which press freedom were stripped away and indefinite powers were granted to regulator to block any information from being broadcast they deem illegal. The discussion later on moved to explore the ways through which government can enhance media sustainability and ensure civil liberties for democracy to prevail.
Participation in Active Sports to Develop Peace Building and Resilience in Communities
Historically, sports acted as a tool for bringing peace and harmony and removing boundaries of cast, culture, and tradition between people. It also inculcates in a player the traits of teamwork, fairness, and discipline. Thus, through sports not only player learn sportsman spirit but also society gets a chance to advance solidarity and social cohesion within and outside. The roundtable meeting “Participation in Active Sports to Develop Peace Building and Resilience in Communities” held on 14th November 2019, was meant to find avenues for participation in sports and athletic activities to counter violent extremism, encourage team building and sportsmen spirit for productive social competence and positive connections to help peace prevails, and developing supportive community through active sports activities.
Building Community Resilience through Public Health to Address Violent Extremism
Health sector is one of the most affected sectors from violent extremism in the society, but still, it gets least attention. “Building Community Resilience through Public Health to Address Violent Extremism”, a round table discussion on November 26th 2019, helped health practitioners in finding avenues to counter rising violent extremism, getting wholistic understanding of health (i.e. food and water security, clean environment, health autonomy, mental health, and the health of the population as whole), explore opportunities and support for a public health response to extremist violence coma assess traditional versus health centred approaches to prevent violent extremism coma seek opportunities for cross sector and interdisciplinary collaboration and learning among domestic and international stakeholders and organisations. During the round table health practitioners also shared their experiences related to recent and ongoing initiatives to review key findings and to generate recommendation from people related with the health sector as well as community stakeholders for prevention of violent extremism.
The Role of Media in Spreading Peace and Harmony in The Society
A couple of centuries ago, news takes, if not months but, hours to travel long distances, thus social change was a slow process at that time. However, things change dramatically, as social change has been occurring by leaps and bounds owing to transformation of media. Instead of playing positive role in society, it has been observed that overall impact of media on society is absurd, particularly towards peace and harmony.
A round-table on 5th July 2019 was held to discuss the role of media in spreading peace and harmony in the society. The discussion focused on the reasons due to which the impact of media on society is not up to the mark. For instance, censorship, financial crunch, and securing corporate interest for their own sustainability through biased reporting were some of the underlying causes of adverse impact of media on peace and harmony in the society. Apart from the issue, the focus of the discussion remained on finding solutions. It was agreed by all participants that media can be pivotal in inducing peace, harmony, tolerance, and acceptance in society by providing information through news and evenly elaborating and removing conflicting points in the society through entertainment. Secondly, a well-structured, ethical, and professional training for young journalists by the organizations and a legally bounded regulation must be put into place all across the board in media industry will fill the remaining gap for media to play its role of spreading peace in society. The given recommendations were presented into policy draft before legislators.