Discuss four (4) ways in which social media could be used to perpetuate gender stereotypes in an African society. In what ways can these be addressed?
Media play important roles in society. They report on current events, provide frameworks for interpretation, mobilise citizens with regard to various issues, reproduce predominant culture and society, and entertain. As such, the media can be an important actor in the promotion of gender equality, both within the working environment (in terms of employment and promotion of female staff at all levels) and in the representation of women and men (in terms of fair gender portrayal and the use of neutral and non-gender specific language).
Stereotypes are also prevalent in every day media. Women are often portrayed solely as homemakers and carers of the family, dependent on men, or as objects of male attention. Stories by female reporters are more likely to challenge stereotypes than those filed by male reporters.
As such, there is a link between the participation of women in the media and improvements in the representation of women.