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Day 15: 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Discussion Topic: The image of women in the visual media can influence our society 


Media is a big part of people’s daily lives. The various types of media, such as radio and television programmes, movies, newspaper, magazines, advertisements etc.  can in some way impact and influence the behaviour of viewers.  Film making is a creative art of work which reflects the various stories of our own society and on the other hand, our society can also be influenced by these films. The global facts show that the maximum number of film directors, script writers, producers, editors, and cinematographers are male, which means that most of the stories in films are also narrated from a male perspective where female characters are controlled by, and mostly exist in terms of how men want to represent women in their story. 

Various films and TV series often represent female characters as powerless and they are rarely portrayed as leaders. In fact, apart from entertainment, visual media can convey a strong message to the audience. However, sometimes the contents of movies and serials further bolster the regressive practices of the society. Objectification of women is common in many blockbuster movies. This is derogatory towards women and can establish a space in our society where objectifying women is normal and acceptable.  Women are also often portrayed as naïve in our movies while males are usually the protagonist who heroically saves a helpless woman from her misery. But this is not always the case because women today are vocal about the choices they make, economically independent and have the courage to fight for their rights.  When women are portrayed as weak characters in movies and serials, our society is encouraged to believe in women as ‘weaker sex’. 

However, things are changing slowly – there are a few recent movies and TV series that have challenged such male-centric approach or have been gender sensitive in their contents.

Therefore, it is now high time for the public to ramp up their support to the movies and other popular media that to bring genuine topics onto the screen rather than sticking to a clichéd narrative which only helps to promote gender bias in society. Our movies and serials should promote progressive thinking and social equality as it can have a wider impact and can be an effective means of deconstructing the traditional stereotypical norms of our society. 

The above is one view of GBV, presented to promote thought and discussion around the topic.  The views expressed in the discussion topic does not necessarily reflect the views of the project or its team members.

It is very important to pay attention to the impact of any online content that we present through different types of online and visual media. If any of the content we show through the media encourages negative behaviour in society and promotes sexist or biased language and roles, then it is high time that we need to correct such contents in time.  

In your opinion, how much importance should we give or not give to the content of visual media and films to promote gender equality in the society?