Dear Data Journalism Awards Team,
I am the first female data journalist and editor from Balochistan -Pakistan’s most impoverished and voiceless province. I started my career as a reporter in 2014 with an online newspaper Balochistan Point, in a time when women hardly joined newsrooms in Balochistan which has still not changed much. I was later selected in a highly competitive data journalism certificate program which ran from 2016-17 in Pakistan through Internews. Under the supervision of my trainer/mentor Eva Constantaras, I graduated from a 200-hours data-journalism training as one of the most competitive participants. I later produced several important investigations including issues of the indigenous population in Pakistan’s south-western region being affected by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, women’s lower participation in politics in Balochistan, lack of female labor force participation in Pakistan, illegal fishing in Balochistan coast and water crisis in Gwadar.
In 2018, I founded an online newspaper Balochistan Review which also won an international grant last year through Internews. I have since then helped many young writers publish their stories highlighting some of the very underrepresented parts of the country. I have also conducted several data journalism trainings and workshops in Gwadar and have participated in DW’s Training of Trainers’ Workshop in Institute of Business Administration in Karachi Pakistan.
Unfortunately, Pakistan lacks the kind of robust forward-looking organizations that value regorous research methodologies used in data journalism, therefore I have devoted myself to this innovative journalism field to push the conversations past politics, have many of our issues highlighted with evidence and lead a real chance of policy change.
Description of portfolio:
I would like the jury to consider my story on “What is Hindering Greater Empowerment of Women in Pakistan” for the award. http://balochistanreview.com/2019/07/what-is-hindering-greater-empowerment-of-women-in-pakistan/ Pakistan has one of the lowest female labor force participation in South Asia and one of the highest gender inequality in the world. These were some of the highlighted facts while I was working on this project, while data supported to have facts on record but I believe a good data story equally incorporates human aspect. Therefore, i had to do a number of interviews to find out why we have disturbing figures when it comes to women’s empowerment. Finding supportive data is one of the most challenging part of working on a data story in Pakistan but specially working in a place like Balochistan with limited access to internet is another big challenge. I was invited by Balochistan’s women development organization and rural development council in Gwadar to discuss the story further with experts working on women’s development in the province.