Voice, Representation and Sexualized Portrayal of Women in Media: Panel Discussion

4:00–6:00 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


Gender stereotypes in the media particularly in advertising, films and television programing are very powerful in shaping social beliefs and individual behavior and attitudes. Research on the negative impacts of gender stereotypical imagery has multiplied manifold since the Beijing Platform for Action 1995 brought global attention to the role of media in perpetuating as well as combating gender inequality. However, the projection of negative and degrading images of women in media communications - electronic, print and visual, continues across the globe. 

Television and films in most countries do not provide a balanced picture of women's diverse lives, experiences, identities and contributions to society in a changing world. In addition, violent, degrading sexualized media products also negatively affect women and their participation in society. Programming that reinforces women's traditional roles and that is equally limiting continues to proliferate. Expansion of information and communication technology in the past two decades has multiplied modes of exposure to gender stereotypical imagery and blurred the cultural boundaries that existed in the pre-2000s period. In the technology driven, globalized world today there is an ever-greater need to share learnings and insights on the impact of media on gender equality across cultures and national boundaries.

Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace, an initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility is hosting a Panel Discussion in collaboration with Public Affairs Section, US Embassy, New Delhi and UChicago Center in India, New Delhi to provide a platform for discussion on the “Voice, Representation and Sexualized Portrayal of Women in Media”. 

The Panel incluced presentations by Ms. Cristal Williams Chancellor, Director of Communications, Women’s Media Center, Washington, D.C. and Ms. Dipti Nath, Associate Professor, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi, New Delhi. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Ira Bhaskar, Professor, Cinema Studies, The Social of Art and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 

The panelists drew attention towards media campaigns and programming that emphasize gender equality and non-stereotyped gender roles of women and men as well as the resilience of stereotypical imagery of women as mothers and vamps in Hindi films. The discussion provided an opportunity for the participants to learn about recent research on the women’s portrayal and presence in the United States and in Hindi Cinema. 

This event was held in collaboration with Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), Public Affairs Section, US Embassy – New Delhi, and UChicago Center in Delhi.