‘Media the key to gender equality’

National, Normal


GENDER equality and empowerment of women will only happen if the media helps Papua New Guinea to break out of the “boys being boys and girls being girls” stereotype.
National Council of Women (NCW) deputy secretary-general Dickson Kiragi said yesterday the image of men and women in the advertising media also created a perception that was sexually oriented because the ideal feminine and masculine model was what sold products.
Mr Kiragi urged media practitioners to create a new model or concept that promoted respect and recognised the rights of men and women in advertisements and in other media productions.
He said the marketing tool of using sexuality influences the mindsets of the people and enforced the stereotype that men and women were objects and did not focus on them as human beings.
“In the face of gender-based violence, gender equality and other gender issues, we want to see men and women on equal levels, as human beings and not by our biological definitions.
“We have to bring about an ideal model that does not use violence, does not portray women as sex objects and subordinates and not as second-class citizens,” Mr Kiragi said.
He said many people forgot that gender equality meant equal opportunities for both men and women, as there were also men who were abused, violated and lived in poverty.
“This means that the stereotype of ‘boys being boys and girls being girls’ needs to be done away with in the face of all the developing changes experienced in the world today,” he said.
Mr Kiragi welcomed the initiative of the Media Council of PNG to work with gender-related organisations to create a media awareness that allowed Papua New Guineans to differentiate between reality and strategic marketing tools.
Media Council executive director Nimo Kama, speaking at the national policy for women and gender equality, said media literacy workshops for villages would also help incorporate the Media Code of Ethics into everyday media practice to minimise this stereotype.