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Media Issues of Concern to Women: Some Observations on Gender Roles in Advertising in South Africa

Chineze J. Onyejekwe


The combination of infrastructure development, new technologies and peoples access to these has accelerated the already pervasive influence of the media. This paper describes some of the ways in which media advertising may be harmful to women, such as perpetuating stereotypical gender roles, exploiting female sexuality, and promoting violence against women. Some examples from the South African media are given. These include the presence of transnational media corporations and the consequent beaming of homogeneous images and perceptions of women, the absence or minimal representation of women in senior positions and posts of authority in media organizations as well as the limits to freedom of expression. A situation is suggested by revising the legal code to include gender issues, such as seen in the codes in other countries, and also improving the complaints system of the oversight government body.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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