Equality in portrayal of women in advertisements

Not very long ago, most women with families did not have an option of working outside. With changing times, many have managed to break the taboo and have stepped out of their houses. Still, for a long time women in popular advertisements were portrayed as two dimensional characters. A recent study has proved a positive change in this trend.


After decades of seeing women only cook and clean, a research by IAA-Hansa, called ‘Changing trends in portrayal of women in Indian advertising,’ has thrown some light on the issue. The research was done across three cities: Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai and surveyed senior marketing managers and creative directors of advertising agencies. According to the study, around 91 per cent of respondents said that ‘Women are shouldering equal responsibilities with men in the family’.


[Picture Courtesy: Forwards]


The study also revealed that advertisements portrayed 94 per cent women as ‘energetic’, 93 per cent as ‘multi-taskers’, and 87 per cent as ‘modern.’ Amongst both genders, women respondents felt that females were portrayed as more energetic and multi-tasking.  The male respondents, however, thought that their image was modern and self-confident.


According to a report by Campaign India, Monica Tata, managing director, HBO India, and chairperson of “Changing Gender Frames” said, “I am delighted with the findings of the study. While the sentiment around the messaging a few years ago was that it was reinforcing the stereotypes, India is clearly showing signs of moving towards a more progressive society where women are perceived as equals.”