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The denigration of women in Malawian radio commercials.

Authors
  • Chilimampunga, C
Type
Published Article
Journal
Gender and development
Publication Date
Jul 01, 1999
Volume
7
Issue
2
Pages
71–78
Identifiers
PMID: 12349220
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

This article investigates the denigration of women in Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) commercials. A random sample of 100 commercials was tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using a content-analysis method. Results showed that 36 of the 100 commercials portrayed females negatively. 41 commercials were judged to denigrate females; of these, 24 portrayed them as having little authority, 4 as dependent, 8 as home-oriented, 5 as noncompetitive, and 4 as sex objects. The large number of commercials featuring both female and male voices reflects the widespread and internalized acceptance of gender stereotypes, which favor men in wider Malawian society. In order to improve images of women, three actions must be taken: commercials must be conceived in a balanced manner, there must be an increase in the female-male ratio among MBC employees, and training on gender issues and on nonsexist advertising techniques should be introduced. While radio commercials are not the fundamental cause of the subordinate status of women, and women's status will not be transformed by the commercials alone, radio advertising can stimulate change.

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