Gender Bias and Inclusion In Advertising: UNICEF

    0
    435

    In News

    Recently, the report titled “Gender Bias and Inclusion In Advertising In India” has been released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDI).

    • GDI is a non-profit research organization which conducts research on gender representation in media and advocates for equal representation of women.
    • The report measured over 1,000 television and YouTube advertisements aired across India in 2019. The ads which received the most reach were analysed.

    About the Study and Findings

    • This study assesses the role of advertising media in reinforcing and challenging harmful gender roles that shape the lives of girls and women in the country.
    • This is the first public study to systematically analyze gender representations in ads in India to serve as a benchmark for making advertising more gender-sensitive in the country.
    • The ads are superior to global benchmarks insofar as girls and women have parity of representation in terms of screen and speaking time.
    • However, their portrayal is problematic as they further gender stereotypes.
    • Females are marginalised by colorism, hypersexualisation, and without careers or aspirations outside of the home.
    • Female characters dominate screen time (59.7 per cent) and speaking time (56.3 per cent), but they are depicted selling cleaning supplies, food and beauty products to female consumers.

    Comparative Data Highlights

    Depictions and Criterias

    Female Characters

    Male Characters

    Married

    11.0%

    8.8%

    Parents

    18.7%

    5.9%

    Future Decision Making

    4.8%

    7.3%

    Household Decision Making

    4.9%

    2.0%

    Shopping

    4.1%

    2.3%

    Cleaning

    4.8%

    2.2%

    Meal Purchase/Preparations

    5.4%

    3.9%

    Smartness & Intelligence

    26.2%

    32.2%

    Sense of Humour

    11.9%

    19.1%

    Light/Medium Skin Tone

    66.9%

    52.1%

    Stunning/Attractive

    5.9%

    0.6%

    Sexual Objectification

    4.7%

    0.9%

    Impact

    • Misrepresentation: Harmful stereotypes significantly impact women and young girls and their perspectives on how they view themselves and their value to society.
    • Sexual Objectification: The more girls and women internalise the idea that their primary value comes from being a sex object, the higher the rates of depression, body hatred and shame, eating disorders, etc.
    • Increased Threats: Such advertisements may contribute to their dehumanisation and personal harm.
    • Increased Discrimination: Issues like colourism advance the discriminatory notion that light skin tones are more attractive.

    Recommendations

    • The stark inequality evident in portrayals of females must be addressed to ensure an equitable society.
    • Advertisers and content creators must increase representation of women and girls across age, social class, skin tone and other diversity indicators.
    • Diverse templates of beauty should be promoted and regressive beauty norms like  females being only fair and thin should be avoided.
    • More females should be portrayed as leaders, especially in the public sphere.
    • Their representation in advertisements must promote positive gender norms around the body and attitudes towards healthy eating. 
    • There is enormous room for improvement by the advertising community in India to address the issues of gender stereotyping in Indian marketing to help drive gender equality.

    United Nations Children’s Fund

    • It is a special programme of the United Nations (UN), guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989.
    • Genesis
      • Established in 1946 as the International Children’s Emergency Fund (ICEF) by the UN Relief Rehabilitation Administration to help children affected by World War II.
      • Became a permanent part of the UN in 1953.
    • Aims
      • To aid national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education and general welfare of children.
      • To establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.
    • Headquarters: New York City, US.

    Source: TH