Advertising and its links to gender equality, gender norms, and violence against women and girls
Systematic analysis of gender representations in advertisements in the Caribbean and Mexico.
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Children and adolescents are exposed to a barrage of advertisements through television and other digital platforms. Advertising promotes certain messages, which may shape viewers’ perceptions of what society is or could be, including what behaviors and roles are considered appropriate for women, girls, men, and boys. Greater knowledge around advertising and its influence on stereotypes, gender norms, and gender socialization — particularly among children and adolescents — can help inform future interventions to dismantle these critical barriers to gender equality.
This research from UNICEF and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with the support of the Spotlight Initiative Caribbean Regional Programme, provides the first public systematic analysis of gender representations in advertisements in the Caribbean (Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad y Tobago) and in Mexico, and serve as a benchmark for making advertising more gender-sensitive in the region.
The two studies identify how women, girls, men, boys, and gender-diverse individuals are portrayed in this sampling of advertisements, and it explores how these depictions might reinforce or challenge harmful gender norms. The results also surface a number of potential drivers and risk factors associated with violence against women and girls. In addition to providing valuable baseline data for monitoring progress and accountability toward gender representation in advertising, the evidence generated from these studies also informs a series of concrete recommendations for how advertising agencies, policymakers, and other international bodies can better promote positive messages that advance the rights of all children.