Building equivalent societies
is one of the priorities of modern democratic states. Mass media play an
important role in making societies where men and women enjoy equal rights in
modern era of technology. Acknowledging women about their legal rights as a part
of the society is very important for shaping a democrat society. This includes
economic, social, awareness of basic human rights, psychological, philosophical,
political and more. Media play an important role for making society successful
in all the mentioned areas. The media can promote reformation in different
fields of life, as well as media can implement things through the strategies of
getting instant attention of mass audience.
Many international conventions and conferences have raised their voice about the
need to break general stereotypes through the usage of media by doing some
changes in media policies. Media mostly portrayed women as victim of domestic
violence, humiliation and portray them in sexiest ways also. But before some
years this new trend has seen that media started promoting a concept of “strong
woman”. If we divide mass media into two parts news media and fiction media like
(films, drama series etc) in early times women are often associated with
sex-objects or household things and just are the part of home politics but now
we saw in many films and dramas women have equal rights as men have. Like young
girl is going to college and she can get admission in university as well. She
can make her own career as she want. Means women are not bound anymore between
the four walls of house. They get the equal opportunities in all spheres of life
but still limited news programs show appearance of women as main character. The
major reason behind this condition is smaller number of women in these areas of
life as compare to the male counterpart.
Psychologically media also set the concepts of people about fashion, beauty, and
lifestyle and so on. Like in different advertising and magazines, women are
mostly portrayed as young, white complexion and slim beauty. Women with such
kind of portrayal are often related with sex objects. Such concepts are now a
standard of beauty for women in the society. People mostly appreciate women
according these standards like if a woman is slim, young and has a fair
complexion then she is a beautiful but if she cannot meet these standards than
she is not a beautiful girl or woman.
Now come to the concept of feminism, from this concept we talk about the
advocacy of women’s rights means both the sexes should have equal rights. Here,
meaning of equal rights is that women should have equal opportunities of moving
ahead in all spheres of life like education, economy, and social and so on.
In spite the fact that today media day by day related femininity with
independent and powerful women, qualities informed by sexuality like display of
the female body and women’s body fragmentation ads to promote the elegance of
women’s bodies. So, this is the miss-use of this concept of feminism.
The portrayal of female characters is largely affected by the beauty myths. Like
flawless skin, slender legs, fair complexion, attractive and innocent faces all
such components of beauty as we perceived in society. And this myth is instantly
generalized throughout the world as a result of globalization. The standard that
media are portray as the concept of women’s beauty is however impossible to
achieve in reality. Because, since models are reached this standard of beauty by
using different means of technology.
For the first time, sound data on gender positions in news organizations around
the world has been published in the IWMF’s Global Report on the Status of Women
in the News Media. The research papers were collected by more than 150
researchers who interviewed executives at more than 500 companies in 59 nations
using a 12-page questionnaire.
The IWMF (international women’s media foundation) found that 73% of the top
management jobs are occupied by men compared to 27% occupied by women. Among the
ranks of reporters, men hold nearly two-thirds of the jobs, compared to 36% held
by women. However, among senior professionals, women are nearing parity with 41%
of the news gathering and editing.
Only in Uganda and Russia are the top countries where men and women are equally
appear in leading positions almost. In spite the enormous change that has taken
place in the field of media thanks to feminist criticism, the contemporary media
are now portraying women somehow better than before. But still in US and Europe,
where women have legally reached equal rights with men, media continue have
discriminatory effect towards women and rely on male when portraying women. Many
media experts, analyst and researchers documented the fact that, even western
media representing women poorly.
No doubt modern technology and emergence of new media bring a revolution in the
image of women. Today we all are the part media not only as consumers but also
as producers through social media. As we all know that social media gave us a
wide platform to share our ideas, thoughts, and knowledge; but also gave the
same platform to those who are in favor of discrimination between men and women.
So, the quality of information on social media is manipulated and disseminated.
However, in case of traditional media we have some possibilities to work under
the leadership to get trained and achieve some results.
In other words traditional media however educates the citizens about the gender
equality and reducing the discriminatory affect from the society.