Gender Biased Indian Advertisements: Can We Ever Break The Stereotypes?

The research on the gender role in Indian advertisements has revealed that they closely consider the intense biases found in society.

UNICEF and the Geena Davis Institute studied Gender in Media and realesed a research titled “Gender Bias and Inclusion in Advertisement in India” where it was found that gender representation is problematic as they motivate gender stereotypes and the top 1,000 most viewed ads in India on television and YouTube. However, there has been discernment about gender bias and separate studies of presentation and perspective in the media. This is the first big attempt to make a systematic analysis of gender representation in ads in the country.

The Gender in Media research titled ‘Gender Bias and Inclusion’ finds that females are well-portrayed as characters to the proportion of 49.6 percent, female role influencing screen time (59.7%) and speaking time (56.3%), but in separate research by GDI, the U.S shows found female characters with half the screen time (30.6%) and nearly half the speaking time (33.5%) that is setting the global benchmarks.

However, their roles are mostly established stereotypes; women are less suitable to work in paid jobs, and those in high places are extremely rare.

They largely sell beauty products, food, and cleaning supplies to female consumers. For example, nearly all the detergents and food commercials portray a woman caretaker who speaks directly to female consumers about taking care of their families.

indian advertisements

Their beauty and glamour are used to make the products attractive. Usually, female characters are thin, but male characters appear with a variety of body sizes in Indian advertisements.

They distinctly shouldn’t even promote gender biases, sexism, and toxic misogynist traits. In a male-dominated world, these kinds of advertisements provide a continuous prompting of male advantages. In the world of advertisement, women have been picturized as nothing but sex objects, whereas men are promoted for their misogyny, tough and bold behavior.

We have decades and decades of gender-biased ads consistently showing gender biases and sexism to the new generation in the name of advertisement and humor. Men are shown uncompromising, and women have to accept the men as they are. This prompts the viewers that men are fated to do things just by the righteousness of being born a man. Nobody talks about improving these behaviors; no one talks about how misguiding they are and, nobody definitely raises the voice to change the narrative.

Advertisements are like art and literature which reflect the biases, preconceptions, and perspectives in society. But like art and literature, sometimes ads don’t take the critical view. In fact, advertisements engage gender stereotypes to sell things and to deliver commercial messages. Children who watch these advertisements are probably to consume these messages and later in life that influences their perspective and the idea of the portrayal of gender roles and man-woman relationships are deeply influenced.

So, disassemble the stereotypes and separate the biases in advertisements is important in a society that pursues gender equality. When women are as good as men in every respect, it is wrong to project only their traditional roles in society that enthusiasm to gender equality.

The above study should serve as a guide to advertisements makers that they should critically examine the messages being conveyed by their work. Since ads and social points of view are commonly dependent and strengthen, both sides also need to change. Even so, efforts are being taken to change the portrayal; still, we have a long way to go.

Over the past few years, we have seen major change in society because of awareness and intolerance of educated members of society for injustice and biases. People are more aware of rights and equality and not ready to adjustable to gender biases.
Media is a powerful tool to bring change in society, so some organizations and combines are working on empowering the thoughts of equality and looking forward to bring a drastic change in the mindset of Indians.

Some remarkable commercials and non-commercial companies are coming forward and make such ads that make anyone be thoughtful about the idea of injustice of gender biases and inequality, these ads work incredibly to convey such a message where women show such an empowered character and leader.

Hence, we all have to work together to make a better society for our future generation for their bright future; for that, we have to bring change in our mentality and complete intolerance for gender biases and sexism. As the advertisement industry initiate in the cause, its impact defiantly would be powerful on the mindset of the Indian public.

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