Gender stereotyping in the media: contributing to gender inequality

Rebekah attended the United Nation's Commission on the Status of the Women (CSW62) in 2018. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Law at Central Queensland University (CQU).


The portrayal of women is paramount to influencing cultural attitudes and educating the generations towards a gender equal future. As we are living in a digital age, the media has the potential and power to influence a culture which empowers and celebrates women. 

The current portrayal of women in the media falls short of Australia’s commitment towards encouraging women into leadership and influence in the country. The media is too often reinforcing gender stereotypes and sexualized images of women. A disappointing, yet prime example can be seen from the frequent sexist remarks of Australia’s first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The media often focussed on her looks, sexual attractiveness and family situation in conjunction with her political movements (Trimble, 2018). The portrayal of women needs to be altered in a way that prevents exploitation and the degradation of women.  Rather than reinforcing gender stereotypes, the media ought to be utilized as an outreach platform to inspire and encourage women.

The current advertising system is too lenient and lacks any form of accountability. A strategic move is for Australia to revolutionize the standards of advertising involving women.  

This paper discusses the issues associated with the media’s exploitation and degradation of women, thereby affecting women’s choices, aspirations and advancement in Australia. This paper recommends creating firm monitoring systems and punitive actions to achieve unity and equality.

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