While we are busy talking about women empowerment, fighting for equal rights and equal respect our Kashmiri women journalists are busy breaking stereotypes. The stereotypes of being an unsafe- field job for women surround journalism as a professions. But, society can not decide what a woman wants from her career and the bones are thus broken in the process. Who are these women who have so much courage? These are women like you and me who want a revolution to take away the nuances of our society and for once we can all breathe as humans and not separate genders. The only difference between these women and us are the chances they have taken in favour of these measures; and that’s what calls for a celebration.
Meet Sehar Qazi
“Being a woman helps presenting a different perspective”- Seher Qazi.
Seher Qazi is a 29- year – old full- time photojournalist, who hails proudly from downtown Srinagar. After completing her postgraduate degree in journalism, Sehar was told to now search for jobs in either a bank or a school. Why? Because these jobs are safe for a young woman. To this wise- wise advice, Sehar Qazi had an apt reply- A determination to make career in photojournalism!
She began working on her own photo essays on the lives of Rohingya Refugees after initially struggling many years with local and other publication houses. She was regularly poked by her relatives and family members about the issue of safety in her profession. But Qazi’s determination towards journalism was unshakable. Being stared at, she held her camera tight and gave a loud stare back!
Meet Masrat Zahra
An aspiring journalist, Masrat Zahra is a 24- year- old journalism student at Kashmir’s Central University, who belongs to Hawal, Srinagar. She is believed to have budded an interest in journalism after being gifted a camera. He dreams began to widen their wings with the decision of opting for photojournalism in the university.
Soon after joining the course, Masrat became a noticeable student and has continuously been publishing her works in publication and photo agencies like The Work Weekly, The Sun, The Washington Posts, etc. At her age, she is a promise of a change to come.
Meet Sanna Irshad Mattoo
“There was no other medium that let me express myself as well as photography. Its visual narration and originality has a power I can’t describe in words”– Sanna Irshad Mattoo
Mattoo is a 24 year old postgraduate photojournalism student from Saida Kadal, Srinagar, who knew it was photojournalism for her, the moment she began studying the course. With her unique ideas and uncommon sight, Mattoo is also a freelance documentary photographer. She believes that a simple gesture of seeking permission to click a photograph makes the people feel heard and respected and that is what counts to her perfection in journalism.
We are a developing society and its high time we understand that it’s the work of an individual that counts, not their gender. All three of our woman journalist feel the difference of gender in their profession. Their security is always at risk and they are judged commonly for choosing to be out of the house at odd hours. But as a society we need to rise above our prejudice and understand that journalism is a challenging field for both women and men, therefore, reduce the suspicion and generate a rather supportive public.
At New Age Kashmir, we are happy to celebrate the chances that our journalist ladies involve in. Kudos to you all and all the very best for your futures.