MIB organises roundtable discussion on “Gender Sensitisation – Portrayal of Women in Media"

The discussion was moderated by Primus Partners

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MIB organises roundtable discussion on “Gender Sensitisation – Portrayal of Women in Media"

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting organised a multi-stakeholder roundtable discussion on “Gender Sensitization – Portrayal of Women in Media”, which was held at Hotel Ashok on the morning of March 11, 2024.

The panel included speakers from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Prasar Bharati, FICCI, UN Women, Netflix, Warner Bros. Discovery, UNICEF, Bag Films and Media, Radio Mewat, Times of India, Equilibrio Advisory LLP, Fever FM, Anupriya Goenka (Actress) and was moderated by Primus Partners.

The discussion consisted of two detailed sessions on the ecosystem analysis and on the way ahead.

Broad areas of discussion included current media portrayals of women and their impact on social perceptions, identification of common stereotypes of women in media and challenges that the women in the industry face. Discussion focused on the responsibilities of media outlets in creating fair and inclusive narratives and accountability strategies and the use of gender-sensitive language.

Best practices for promoting diversity and breaking stereotypes and the potential of the media to bring a positive societal change were deliberated upon. There was brainstorming on promoting empowering narratives for women in media, exploring collaboration opportunities between media organisations, advocacy groups and content creators for positive change leading to an equitable society with equal opportunities for all citizens to grow as per their potential.

Neerja Sekhar, IAS, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, emphasised that the state and society should come together with the responsibility to bring in change and to make workplaces safe, and ensure equal inclusion of women in all spaces. Government would continue to encourage change through discussions with stakeholders across media platforms.

The panellists deliberated on the need to have strong stories which has been facilitated to large extent by the OTT platforms, as strong stories do not resort to portray women in stereotyped or glamorised roles. Discussion on “Guide on Gender–Inclusive Communication” brought out by Ministry of Women and Child Development and “Handbook on Combating Gender Stereotypes” by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India was held to emphasise the use of language and portrayal of women in media in breaking deep-rooted biases.

In conclusion, Charu Malhotra, Co-founder and Managing Director, Primus Partners, stated that the session has been an enriching one giving a multi perspectival point of view on gender landscape in the media and entertainment sector. There is a need to normalise women in powerful and commonplace roles. For art to mirror life, we need not distinguish between female centric and male centric subject matters and women must claim their space in media portrayals. The way ahead suggested by the panellists would be taken forward in collaboration with the policy makers in the Media and Entertainment.

Warner Bros Discovery Prasar Bharati Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Equilibri Radio Mewat Bag Films and Media Netflix MIB UNICEF Gender Sensitisation – Portrayal of Women in Media UN Women roundtable discussion Times of India FICCI