Women Who Work: a new concept in Pakistan

27 Mar

For this assignment, I used The New York Times website to find a video to analyze. I ended up going to the Editor’s Choice section and finding a video titled “Women Who Work- Struggling to Provide.”

This video, by reporter Adam B Ellick, tells the story of women in Pakistan who work to help support their families. This is often done against the will of the men of their family, and women face a lot of backlash and criticism for their choices.

Ellick really focused on the in-depth story of a few women in Pakistan. The video was very much character-driven, and viewers got an inside look at each of the character’s day-to-day lives. The story was told in the form of a narrator explaining the basic idea then personal interviews and video clips of the women at work were included.

The narrative was very clear and there was a distinct beginning, middle and end to the story. The first scene of the video features a woman telling a story of how she was brutally beaten by her own brothers for leaving the house and getting a job. She goes on to describe how they threatened to disown and again beat her if they ever saw her in public. Towards the middle, the focus of the story shifted a bit to include other women and their day-to-day struggles and experiences in the work world. Finally, the story ended with interviews with employers and general opinions on women working.

The first scenes of the story were very intense. The interview provided with the woman was absolutely mind-blowing to me, as in America, women are encouraged to work as opposed to punished for it. Also, the story behind the women really got me interested because they became real people rather than just characters in a video. It was interesting to see their every day lives in comparison to mine.

One thing I really enjoyed about this video was the wide range of shots. There were close ups, mid range shots and shots from numerous angles. I really felt as though I was there and it really added to the professionalism of the video because I could tell the director knew what he was doing. Additionally, the b-roll in this video was of the women actually going to work and doing their jobs. This also included natural sound in the videos. Viewers could again relate to the characters because they can hear the exchanges being made at work, the jeering and taunting faced by women on the streets and the manner in which employers treat the women they hire. One particularly interesting segment was when one of the women explained how she had to dress in western clothing once she got to her job, but had to be especially careful in what she chose to wear because women who expose their heads in public are often considered prostitutes. This again shows the vast difference between our everyday life and life in other countries.

There were, however a few things I didn’t particularly care for in this video.

  1. Length. This video was nine minutes, 58 seconds. Though the topic was interesting, not many people have the time or patience to sit through a ten-minute video.
  2. Lack of identification. There were a lot of really interesting women featured in this video, and not one of them was identified other than stating their name during narration. Maybe this is a privacy issue, but I’d still have liked to see their names written out somewhere on screen.
  3. Transitions. Awkward would be the best way to describe this. Don’t get me wrong…the video was very well done, but some of the transitions from sub topic to sub topic were a bit awkward. I got a little lost and had to rewind to catch back up.

Overall, the video was very intriguing. I enjoyed, for the most part, the pacing of the video and the characters featured really held my interest. Also, the topic itself was unique and something that I feel should get more attention. A lot of times, people don’t realize just how lucky we are to live where we do until they see how life is elsewhere. The concept of women literally being punished for working was mind blowing to me, as I’m sure it will be to other viewers.

All in all, this New York Times production was very well done, and I’d recommend you take the 10 minutes to watch it. You’ll really appreciate everything you have after doing so.






3 Responses to “Women Who Work: a new concept in Pakistan”

  1. danifelice1124 April 2, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    I totally agree with you about the this video being very well made. I was surprised and intrigued just from the title because Pakistani women historically do not work. When I clicked on the link however, I must say I almost ran because of the length but overall I was glad I watched the piece. It was intriguing but a bit confusing at times.

  2. lhdimick April 2, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    This was a great video choice and I can see why it was the editors choice. It was a really long video so it was impressive how you tackled it for your blog. I liked how you set up the blog this week with the numbered bullet points highlighting the points you thought could have been better. -Luke

  3. ldpatmon April 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    I watched all 10 mins (which is very long) of the video and you did a great analyzes.You pointed out the positive & negative points accurately.

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