Presence and Absence: Representation(s) of Women on Primetime television in Pakistan


Dr. Amina Shahzadi
Ms. Shehar Bano, Ms. Abeera Saeed
Dr. Abdul Ghaffar


Women's representations in the media have a significant impact on how people view women, perceive gender roles, and form their identities. In Pakistan, television is not only a major source of entertainment but it also plays a key role in gender role socialization by reinforcing patriarchal ideology. Primarily based on the theoretical framework of social semiotics (Kress & Leeuwen, 2006), discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1995), and feminist critical discourse analysis (Lazar, 2005), this study seeks to deconstruct the way women are represented in primetime dramas in Pakistan. The analysis of 14 primetime dramas each of PTV Home and Geo Entertainment channel suggest that Pakistani primetime dramas are mainly focusing on domestic issues where women are positioned in a narrow range of social roles i.e. as wives, mothers, and daughters, and are rarely shown in any productive roles. As a result, women in primetime dramas are projected not to have a personal identity of their own rather they have been identified regarding their familial roles and relations. Such representations of women emphasize their domestic and reproductive roles and provide a restrictive and deleterious portrait of women which contributes to the marginalization of women in our society. The representations of women in Pakistani primetime dramas, therefore, underline patriarchal ideological practices which have strong implications regarding women’s social roles and identities in Pakistan.


How to Cite
Dr. Amina Shahzadi, Ms. Shehar Bano, Ms. Abeera Saeed, & Dr. Abdul Ghaffar. (2023). Presence and Absence: Representation(s) of Women on Primetime television in Pakistan. Harf-O-Sukhan, 7(3), 432-446. Retrieved from