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Tackling gender norms through media

Time (GMT +01) 13:00 14:30
Hero image description: Morning radio show host at the Joy FM studio in Accra Image credit:Jonathan Ernst / World Bank Image license:CC-BY-NC-ND


Caroline Harper @ALIGN_platform – Principal Research Fellow and Head of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Programme, ODI



Poonam Muttreja @PFI3 – Executive Director, Population Foundation of India

Caroline Sugg @carolinesugg – Director for Strategy & Partnerships, BBC Media Action

Olga De Biaggio – Director of Gender Programming, Girl Effect


The power of the media to influence gender norms both towards greater equality and reinforcing discriminatory attitudes and behaviour has long been recognised. Through the representation of men and women on television shows, news, social media and advertising, gender norms are demonstrated, negotiated and challenged. Public policymakers and donors support the potential of mass media to educate, and change attitudes and behaviours, investing particularly in edutainment (soap operas) and interactive media such as phone-ins and chat shows. 

This panel debate critically analyses the power of media as a space for positive change to gender norms, exploring the merits and limitations of different types of mass media, focusing on:

  • Whether one form of media is more powerful than others for challenging harmful gender norms?
  • Examples of media influencing campaigns aimed at gender equality back-firing
  • Whether a cross-media approach is always best to tackle the complexity of gender norms?
  • Who the power for norm change lies with?
  • How norm change through media influence can be monitored?

This event will be broadcast online only.