Media in Gender Emancipation



The media has always been a powerful tool for raising social and political concerns. The media of today, from traditional legacy media to Internet media, continues to have a tremendous impact on our perceptions of women and girls’ roles in society.

Exposure to stereotypical gender portrayals and clear gender segregation has been linked to “(a) preferences for ‘gender appropriate’ media content, toys, games, and activities; (b) traditional perceptions of gender roles, occupations, and personality traits; and (c) attitudes toward 2 expectations and aspirations for future trajectories of life” according to research.

One of every five specialists met by media is ladies. Ladies are regularly depicted in cliche and hyper-sexualized parts in promoting and the entertainment world, which has long haul social results. 73% of the administration occupations are involved by men contrasted with 27% involved by ladies[1].


Films, television shows, fashion shows, ads, magazines and newspapers, music videos, and children’s cartoons all promote the fit, youthful, and thin lady as the Western ideal of feminine beauty. In order to be judged appealing, women must comply to images showing the ideal woman as tall, white, thin, with a ‘tubular’ body and blonde hair that may be found in advertisements, television, and music.

According to studies, traditional female roles are generally sexualized with minimum clothes and sexualized roles, and they fit into cultural preconceptions of women. According to video game content research, “41% of female characters wore exposing attire and an equal proportion were partially or completely naked,” but male characters did not. In media outlets such as television and video games, women are disproportionately underrepresented. Women are typically shown in video games as characters in need of assistance, or in subservient or helpful positions. More than 80% of females shown in the video game publications are objectified, underdressed, or charmingly observed, with a fifth falling into all three categories.


In the media, especially in cinema, heterosexual love partnerships frequently romanticize intimate partner violence in which the woman is the victim. According to a 2016 study on women’s perceptions of violent conduct, many women find the types of abusive acts depicted in popular films appealing or desirable. The prominence of abusive stereotypes in popular media is largely blamed for this confusion of abuse with romanticism. [2]


Organizations with the highest percentage of women in senior leadership roles beat those with the lowest percentage of women, according to Catalyst, a non-profit organisation, with a 35 percent higher return on equity.

Aside from the financial rewards, achieving gender balance in newsrooms makes them more productive and inventive, and it can help to maintain social stability in the surrounding areas.

  1. Include information about and for women in your news:

This isn’t only about addressing “women’s issues.” It’s about ensuring that materials are gender-balanced and reflect the diversity of the world’s population, which accounts for nearly half of the world’s population. Creating such a balance benefits a publication’s audience, influence, and, ultimately, income.

The Zimbabwean, a Harare-based independent newspaper founded in 2005, has made it its purpose to produce accurate reporting on and for women, particularly those living in rural regions with limited access to news. Trish Mbanga, the co-founder, remarked, “Our stories have a life-changing influence.” “When a lady is educated, the entire family is educated.” When women are improved, society is improved. “Women are an economic force to be reckoned with.”

  1. Make certain that management is fully committed.

Content alone can only go so far in encouraging gender equality in the newsroom. If management is not dedicated to ensuring diversity, initiatives can quickly fall apart. Mint, an Indian business daily located in Delhi, is breaking new ground in an industry dominated by men by employing 50% women. In fact, when it first began in 2007, it made gender equality a priority and hired a gender editorial consultant to guarantee diversity.

  1. Ensure that all roles in the newsroom, including senior positions, are filled by women.

There can’t be a balance if there isn’t a physical representation of women in the newsroom, no matter how much material a media outlet publishes for and about women, or how committed management is to attaining gender equality.

  1. Equalize pay

While certain aspects of gender inequality are abstract and impossible to quantify, the pay disparity between men and women is a symptom of media inequity. The media, however, is far from the only area in which women are undervalued; the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) reports that gender disparities persist in most industrialized countries and across industries.


Despite India’s amazing economic gain and fast growth over the last few decades, gender equality remains a problem. Women make up a significant portion of the film and television audience, as well as the marketers that support this industry. And, as an industry with the soft power to effect significant change, how women are portrayed in the media has a direct impact on how society views feminism. The impact of numerous social movements on women, the countrywide acknowledgment of journalists and influencers, and promoting gender parity for not just men and women, but all genders at large are all part of the new era of gender equality.

After all, women in this nation are no longer scared to demand equality and prosecute anybody who opposes or breaches this basic human right. So far, so good.

However, as times have changed, the media and entertainment sector has taken a leading role in advocating for women. The business is now playing a significant role in influencing how the world views women. It has a big impact on the audience, with women attempting to connect with the protagonists and males seeking to imitate the lead characters’ behaviour patterns.


Gender-based violence (GBV) poses a physical and digital threat to freedom of expression and access to information. Silencing female journalists is a democratic attack since it leads to self-censorship and women withdrawing from public life as a result of abuse. Threats, intimidation, and violence have prompted nearly a third of female journalists to contemplate abandoning the field. For the same reason, more than a third of female journalists avoided reporting some stories. Online harassment affects over half of female journalists. Threats are frequently sexual and racial, aimed at the person rather than the substance, making the workplace a dangerous place for women. As a result, there are even fewer female voices in the male-dominated profession of media. [3]


  • Recognize the media’s crucial role in promoting gender equality in all sectors by producing gender-sensitive and transformational material and refuting gender stereotypes.
  • Media content that is gender-sensitive and transformative should pave the way for gender equality. To do so, we need uniform policies, norms, and processes at all levels, starting with national media policy and media self-regulation.
  • The safety of female media professionals must be a major priority for member states and the media industry. A culture of safety, as well as effective grievance and reparation procedures, must be fostered.[4]

Author’s Name: Vatsala Vatsa (NMIMS Bangalore)

Image Reference

 [1] Pranati Shubha, The Responsibility Of Women Empowerment on Media, accessed on 25 June 2021

[2] Sonika Sethi, Emancipation of women through media: role of men behind the camera (May 2017) accessed on 25 June 2021

[3] “The Crucial Role of Media in Achieving Gender Equality” (International Media SupportFebruary 21, 2020) accessed on 26 June 2021

[4] Das P, “The Role of Media in Perpetuating or Obstructing Gender Equality in the Context of Developing World” (IGI GlobalJanuary 1, 1970) accessed June 27, 2021

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