Images of Women Portrayed in the Media
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For a long time now, scantily dressed women and suggestively displayed young women have been used to drive up the sales of virtually all products and services that companies have to offer in advertisements on magazines, television, newspapers, billboards, and even on personal computers especially in this information technology era. From a critical point of view, this amounts to excessive objectification of women, with the educated females being the strongest critics of such commercials as they are the most affected by this unfair presentation of women as sex objects.
Representation of female politicians in the media
The media representation of women politicians is seen as a setback towards achieving equal representation. The media have in the past given unequal representation of women politicians in relation their male counterparts. The Media spends little time telling policy priorities of female candidates and more of the time highlighting character traits, viability and appearance of female candidates as opposed to male candidates (Khan 1996). Also, the media portray men and women politician’s policy interests and character traits in a different way (Bystrom et al. 2004).
Coverage of Female issues in political news
Whereas previous research has portrayed media’s representation as a significant obstacle for women politicians, there is little or no research that has been done in regard to women’s self-presentation challenges and coverage of women issues in political news. It is a point of fact that women issues are not given priority in the political news in the media. Despite the media being a potential therapy for gender inequality in society, it is also a basis of this gender “sickness”. The lack of women in decision-making roles is connected to the absence of female politicians’, representation in media content (Vavrus,2002).However during the Beijing Fourth World Conference on women in the media; they were requested to initiate strategies to enhance women’s participation in decision-making through encouraging a less stereotyped image of women and giving equal access to media.
In conclusion, it would be wise if issues regarding the portrayal of women in the media were given more attention by marketing researchers in collaboration with psychologists in order to develop advertisements and programs that promote a positive image of women in the society. It is worth noting that incorporation of women issues and their image and position in the society into basic educational curricula would also contribute enormously in boosting the positive image and attitudes towards women by creating public awareness and empowering those belonging to the female gender and those interested in politics to be even more proactive in promoting their self-image and respect in society.