The Power of Tv: Cable Tv & Its Impact on the Autonomy of Women in Pakistan

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The power of TV: Cable television & women’s status in India by Robert Jansen & Emily Oster that appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Economics[1] in 2009 is what I intend to replicate in terms of Pakistan (Karachi).

Cable and satellite television have spread rapidly throughout the developing world. These media sources expose viewers to new information about the outside world and other ways of life, which may affect attitudes and behaviors. This paper explores the effect of the introduction of cable television on women's status in rural India. Using a three-year, individual-level panel data set, it finds that the introduction of cable television is associated with significant decreases in the reported acceptability of domestic violence toward women and son preference, as well as increases in women's autonomy and decreases in fertility. The paper also finds suggestive evidence that exposure to cable increases school enrollment for younger children, perhaps through increased participation of women in household decision making. But, at the same time, it argues that the results are not driven by preexisting differential trends.

Similar nature of work was carried out in Pakistan by Anjum Zia in 2007 as part of her Phd thesis, titled: Effects of cable television on Women in Pakistan: a comparative study of light & heavy viewers in Lahore. The effects of cable television on our nation is oft discussed but seldom talked about in tangible terms. It is something we all are aware about since we see it happening all around us. Powerful Indian shows like Kyun ke saas bhe kabhie bahu thee are remembered clearly even today. The same is the case with Pakistani shows like the recent Hum TV presentation Humsafar.

The challenge here is to address the concerned area using first hand information. And if first hand information is to be used how to collect information such that it allows comparison between different years and the changes in attitude during that time....
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