The initiative aims to challenge traditional gender stereotyping in advertising and media
On Tuesday, the Unstereotype Alliance launched the India national chapter with a coalition formed to tackle harmful stereotypes advertising with support from EU funded WeEmpowerAsia Programme. The Alliance will center its work in India on broadening the representation of women and girls in non-traditional roles in advertising with a focus on women returning to the workforce.
Convened by UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, the Unstereotype Alliance is a thought and action platform that seeks to eradicate harmful stereotypes from advertising and media. India is the ninth national chapter to launch worldwide, and the second in Asia.
The Unstereotype Alliance’s India National Chapter founding members include Hindustan Unilever (Champion), Diageo, WPP India, Publicis Groupe, Havas Group, Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), The Advertising Club and Samhita Social Ventures.
The launch of the India national chapter is a significant milestone for the Unstereotype Alliance, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women, said. “It shows that the India advertising and media industry is coming together in all its strength and diversity to tackle the harmful stereotypes that hinder progress towards gender equality. This is critical to addressing the drivers of inequality such as violence against women and girls, intergenerational poverty and the lack of women in leadership and decision-making roles,” she added.
Stereotypes in advertising perpetuate negative social norms and hinder progress of gender equality. Harmful social norms contribute to increased acceptance of gender-based violence, lack of economic decision-making for women and constricted opportunities in the job market. The chapter has defined strategic priorities to address gender stereotypes with a focus on harmful patriarchal traditions and norms to broaden the representation of empowered and autonomous women in private and public life, including in business leadership; and to ensure progressive representation in media and advertising.
Across the globe, consumers are increasingly expecting brands to take a stand on the issues they care most about – gender stereotype has been one such issue, Priya Nair, executive director, beauty and personal care, Hindustan Unilever, said. “Various organisations need to come together to bring about this systematic change and set new standards of empowerment and equality. As a founding member of the Unstereotype Alliance, we look forward to supporting UN Women, to drive social change, encourage action, and put an end to gender stereotypes and discrimination,” she stated further.