Home » Women and Society » Media and Women

Media and Women

Radio and television programmes and Newspapers have projected women in certain ways and issues concerning them are coming in the open. Projections about dowry deaths or atrocities against tribal or Dalit women, girls' education is some of the issues that are getting coverage and publicity. At the same time the media through advertisements, television serials and other programmes continue to project regressive and weak image of women.

There has been gender bias in the television programmes .The study conducted by Prabha Krishnan and Anita Dighe in 1990 was based on intensive viewing of all Doordarshan programmes on alternative dates of July. Almost all the programmes were covered in the sample survey. Men appeared as newsmaker in 77% of the cases while women were in that role only in 6.5% cases. When reporting on politicians, women appeared in the political news as wives, mothers and daughters of well-known leaders. In areas where curfew was imposed women were shown as shoppers when curfew was relaxed. They appeared as victims of calamities and members of audiences. A very little representation was given to the women working in occupations. In the analysis of serials and cinema women were shown as scheming or conniving .Men characters were almost double than that of women. Women were mostly housewives, submissive and sacrificing. Krishnan and Dighe conclude that women were underrepresented in general, marriage and parenthood are considered more important to women than to men.

Since 1980s there has been some resistance to the stereotypes formed of women. Certain laws and legal judgments have worked towards greater gender equality. Agitations against the portrayal of women in the media and moves to involve women in the political process at various levels have been effective in recent years. The consciousness has not only made all people sensitive to women and generated a lot of data, studies and reports on women issues.

Reference: Kishnan,P and A Dighe, 1980: Affirmation and Denial: Construction of Feminity in Indian Television