The Portrayal of Women in Pakistani Films

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In today’s world, movies play a major role in entertaining people. They are appealing to all age groups. Particularly, in Pakistan, where recreational activities are very less for Pakistanis, watching films is one entertainment even the poor class can afford. Saving few rupees for an evening once a week or a month in a cinema, is a cheap retreat for most of the poor Pakistanis.

Gerbner’s cultivation theory suggests that media can affect beliefs of people regarding the social world. He states that ‘television, among modern media has acquired such a central place in daily life that dominates our symbolic environment, substituting its distorted message about reality for personal and other means of knowing about the world. He also states that ‘Television is the cultural arm of the established industrial order which serves primarily to maintain, stabilize and reinforce rather than to alter, threaten or weaken conventional beliefs and behavior.’

All the respondents profile shows that, with the exception of eight young girls aged under eighteen, all other were adult women of age twenty five to thirty five while the oldest was forty. The younger batch was fifteen to eighteen years of age.

The results of this study are unequivocal about the negativism in the image of women in Pakistani films. Almost all the respondents said that the image of women and the roles they play are predominantly negative. All of them seemed to consider the effects of films as an issue for the first time which took considerable time in explaining what media can do and how we can use it.

When asked if they think women roles in Pakistani films are satisfactory, most of them answered that they were unsatisfactory and vulgar. Most of them said that the Pakist...

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... and dresses in Pakistani films

• Film censor board should censor foul language used for women in films that depicts them as sex symbols.

• Children under 18 should not be admitted in cinema halls without family members.

• Movies available in market should not be sold to adolescence.

• Parents should keep a check on their children for what they are watching and educate them about the difference between reality and portrayal in films.

• Families should stress on strong values of our culture and religion.

• Adults should ban Pakistani films at home that are obscene to keep them away from

Children and also not watch such content themselves.


• Research can be carried out in other cities of Pakistan.

• Research can be carried with men being the sample.

• Research can be carried out with a large sample of women in Rawalpindi.

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