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Media and Globalization’s Impact on Gender Equality

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Impact of Media and Globalization on Gender Equality

The world has been becoming progressively more integrated. The changes, which began with greater trade openness, are interpreted into increasing global economic integration and interdependence due to the fact that transnational movements of capital and people expedite, while information becomes even more accessible. Technological enhancements are dramatically and impetuously altering the manner in which people communicate, learn, and work, whereby the world population is concentrated in medium and large cities. Innovative forces connected with globalization, standing for the amalgamation of economical consolidation, technological dissemination, and higher level of access to information, are actually operating via markets and both informal and formal institutions in order to elevate some of the restrictions and limitations to greater gender equality. Despite the fact that numerous scholars believe that globalization can be viewed as harmful for females because of increasing structural gender inequalities, a lot of facts prove that it has provided more possibilities to challenge preexisting patriarchal standards through the role models available in the globalized media. In fact, media and their evolvement have accompanied and supported an elevation in immensity and complicacy of social engagements and actions, sudden societal alterations, technological innovations, and diminution of some classic standards of authority and control. In fact, there is a tight interrelation between representations in media and societal shifts despite the fact that direction and degree of this interrelation is still controversial. Numerous outcomes that are ascribed to the media, including both beneficial and harmful ones, are practically indubitably caused by trends operating within the society. Media stand as the main factor in the establishment of societal cognition and social conception in classical and current societies. This is the main reason why media can be utilized as a powerful and flexible guiding tool for impacting people into specific modes of credence and cognizance within the society.

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Background and Explanation of the Topic

Gender prospect in a form of an analytical framework analyzes socially established and uneven relationships between males and females, which impact their functions, privileges, rights, and responsibilities in the society. Due to gender discrimination and inequalities in all parts of the world, globalization processes can more negatively influence females than males (Matos, 2016). Nevertheless, there can be solid advantages for women connected to globalization. In fact, it is highly important to systematically control and monitor the gender impact on changes and shifts in tendencies in order to see that the objectives of gender equality together with the amplification of human capacities are not sacrificed (Georgiou, 2013). This will help in uncovering gender gaps in regards to access to social possibilities, resources, and services, together with the levels of gender partaking in decision-making processes (Georgiou, 2013). Therefore, gender prospect can help in bridging the gender gap, empowering both males and females in order to allow them partake in all social processes as equal partners.

The relationship between globalization and gender equality, along with the appropriateness of globalization for changing gender relations is vivid. Globalization tendencies and connected policies are frequently believed to be gender-neutral, meaning that they have analogous influences on males and females. Nevertheless, a closer analysis of the ways in which they affect people detects solid gender-demarcated impacts (Matos, 2016). The evidence shows that females and males are unevenly positioned at numerous discrepant social organization levels (Georgiou, 2013). This incorporates the macro level of the social economy, societal institutions, minor groups and the personal level at which men and women are discrepantly positioned and remunerated. Thus, it demonstrates that social organization can be viewed as gendered (Matos, 2016). The facts reveal that democracy, globalization, and the requirement for gender equality place the issue of gender and media at the forefront of the social science reflection.

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Decentralization or marginalization of females and their underprivileged standing appear to be at the core of the global movement for the authorization of females (Kaul, 2011). Thus, for an all-round emancipation of females, economic self-sufficiency is of uppermost significance together with creation of recognition among them regarding their rights and responsibilities (Parikka, 2015). This is the main reason why it is important to enhance and change the portrayal of females in the media as it is a vigorous vehicle for the formation of the public view and the people’s perception of the societal reality (Kaul, 2011). Taking into account the role of media, it is important to view it as a crucial area of concern since it appears to be one of the ten main hindrances to womens progress, hence becoming an area in which large-scale strategic actions should be taken for gender equality to become a globalized reality (Parikka, 2015). In fact, representation of females in the media can be viewed as a topic of controversy since, regardless of important and considerable strides towards equality, females all over the world are incessantly marginalized and disadvantaged in the society (Kaul, 2011). Despite globalized attempts to obtain gender equality, females are constantly stereotyped as domesticated, especially regarding media connected to fashion, leisure, and beauty interests. In addition, women are also continuously depicted as foolish, subordinate, hesitant, submissive, as well as being objectified as mens possessions (Kaul, 2011). Therefore, the medias prolonged misrepresentation of females via negative stereotypes can be viewed as a topical issue in the current globalized society, which requires critical analytical attention for the policies aimed at achieving gender equality to be meaningful.

Main Concepts and Ideas

The three main ideas of the current topic include increased access to economic possibilities, shifting of gender roles and standards, and the role of media in gender (in)equality.

Firstly, trade receptiveness together with the spread of innovative information and communication technologies have resulted in a higher quantity of jobs and more solid connections to markets for numerous women, elevating their general access to economic possibilities (Pande & van der Weide, 2012). There are also some examples of sectors and countries where wages of females have also been elevated as compared to those of males. Secondly, it appears that gender inequality results in elevated expenses in the integrated and merged world. The facts demonstrate that it might lower the countries capability of competing on the international scale. This is especially important for countries that are characterized as export-oriented in terms of services and goods with a high level of female employment (Pande & van der Weide, 2012). Moreover, when the increasing global awareness of womens rights is taken into account, it becomes obvious that a protracted and lasting gender inequality might also negatively affect a countrys international position (Pande & van der Weide, 2012).

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The above-mentioned agents have the possibility of consolidating inducements for policy action towards general gender equality around the globe. Thirdly, an increased access to information has provided the possibility for more people living in developing countries to obtain information concerning life in other parts of the globe, encompassing those related to the females role, thus presumably influencing conducts and attitudes (Pande & van der Weide, 2012). The change in a direction of more egalitarian gender functions, roles, and standards has also been consolidated by females economic authorization and empowerment. However, the lack or absence of public policy demonstrates that mere globalization cannot and will not decrease gender inequality. Regardless of improvements in womens access to economic possibilities in different countries, these improvements have not actually concerned everybody. In fact, females, who are left behind stand for those for whom existing limitations appear to be the most irrevocable. This is the main reason why the public actions aimed at closing existent gender gaps in funding, agency, and access to economic possibilities are required for countries to capitalize on possibilities offered by globalization in the form of a stimulating force for development and higher gender equality.

Required and Additional Readings

The main readings for the topic incorporate the sixth chapter of World Development Report 2012 Globalizations impact on gender equality: Whats happened and whats needed and the article by Vineet Kaul Globalization and gender issues. The first reading demonstrates the role of globalization in changing gender inequality to gender equality. It tells that technological changes and diffusion, increased access to information, and trade openness have led to the lowering of some limitations connected with gender inequality. Moreover, it also reveals the importance of public policy as globalization alone cannot deal with gender inequality. Regardless of all positive changes brought about by globalization, many areas around the globe still suffer from numerous problems relating to gender inequality. The report demonstrates that only public actions can help in fully capitalizing on the potential of globalization, which is a major force for development and higher gender equality. In turn, the article by V. Kaul demonstrates that despite the overall positive influence of globalization on the world, its particular impacts have to be questioned with respect to prolonged inequalities and divisions. The article discusses different problems and issues connected to both females in the media and females and the media. On the one hand, globalization deals with gender inequality, while, on the other hand, it produces discriminatory advertising and spreads imposing images of female roles and femininity.

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Additional readings include books by P. Pande & van der Weide Globalization, technology diffusion and gender disparity: Social impacts of ICTs, J. Heine and R. Thakur The dark side of globalization, T. Parikka Globalization, gender, and media: Formation of the sexual and violence in understanding globalization, and the article by B. Hentges, R. Bartsch, and J. Meier Gender representation in commercials as a function of target audience age.

Arrangement of the Lecture

The lecture will start with a small video-clip lasting for approximately two minutes created by the UN Women named Gender equality means empowering women and girls as this clip demonstrates the major problem connected with gender inequality, major requirements for reaching gender equality, and actions which should be taken to obtain this goal. This will create a fundamental basis for the lecture development, discussion of globalization and media, and incorporation of three major concepts, including increased access to economic possibilities, shifting of gender roles and standards, and the role of media in gender (in)equality. It will be also important to discuss the situation connected with the gender (in)equality in India, Latin America, the Caribbean region, and Africa.

The facts demonstrate that during the last 30 years trade openness together with the information and media spread have broadened economic possibilities (Parikka, 2015). The demand for female workers in different spheres has increased and since females have filled these innovative jobs, gender distribution of employment across countries and sectors has altered (Georgiou, 2013). Therefore, women have obtained the capability to move out of agriculture into numerous other service industries. Despite the fact that these alterations have occurred in all countries, female employment in services and manufacturing has increased more rapidly in developing countries than in the developed ones, revealing more pronounced alterations in the global dissemination of labor and production (Pande & van der Weide, 2012). Moreover, enhancements in the information and communication technologies and media around the globe have provided women with a possibility to access markets in increasing quantities by decreasing information hurdles. Since mobility and time limitations appear to be more severe for females than males, women can benefit more from the above-mentioned developments (Parikka, 2015). Increased access to economic possibilities together with greater returns on economic operations provide more solid incentives to accumulate human capital, especially for females, while being more likely to increase investments in girls and young women as future workers (Georgiou, 2013). The history reveals that the early years of trade liberalization have been mainly characterized by the shift in information technology manufacturing from developed to developing countries (Georgiou, 2013). This alterations of geographic location stimulated female labor force partaking and led to the feminization of employment in developing countries, especially in Central America and Asia (Matos, 2016).

The alterations stimulated by globalizations, especially increased access to economic possibilities and information among females, might impact existing gender functions and standards. In fact, this actually promotes more egalitarian opinions. Globalization has allowed females to become income earners who are capable of leveraging their new position to alter gender functions and roles in their households by affecting allocation of resources and time among household members, moving the relative power within the households, and exercising stronger agency (Georgiou, 2013). Females appear to have obtained more control over their revenues by working in export-centered activities even despite the fact that the influence on prosperity and agency seems to be more positive for females operating in manufacturing and agriculture. Globalization processes have helped females in enhancing the status of women in factories (Matos, 2016). The evidence shows that these females are more likely to marry and have their first baby later than other females of the same or similar socioeconomic status and appear to have enhanced caliber of housing and more access to modern infrastructure (Matos, 2016). In addition, this also leads to higher self-regard and decision-making capabilities that expand to other family members. Apart from the economic sphere, increased access to information, majorly via a greater exposure to television and the Internet, has also provided women in developing countries with information, especially regarding functions and roles female perform in other parts of the world, hence affecting gender roles and consequences (Georgiou, 2013). For example, the existing evidence from rural India reveals that gender opinions and positions among villagers have altered as a result of a higher exposure to cable television. In fact, those females who have had access to television appear to be less likely to express a son preference or believe that it is normal and acceptable for a husband to beat his wife (Matos, 2016). Moreover, it has also helped to alter conducts, which are typically connected to womens status, as females have gained more autonomy by realizing that are going outside without permission and taking part in household decision-making in addition to the promotion of lower fertility (Georgiou, 2013). The influence of information and communication technologies together with the greater access to information on gender standards and, on a wider scale, gender in the public sphere appears to be more blended (Pande & van der Weide, 2012). Dissemination of information and communication technologies and information access have allowed to empower women politically and socially through increased access to networks (Pande & van der Weide, 2012). For example, activist networks in Latin America and Africa have utilized the Internet to elevate public awareness concerning questions of gender inequality (Matos, 2016). In addition, the structure of the networks has provided women with a possibility of becoming agents without solidly altering their local circumstances or other functions/roles in households, evading limitations instead of opposing them. In fact, the existing strain between fixed individual settings and higher level of awareness and public presence might be a promising area for further alterations (Matos, 2016). Nevertheless, these alterations will require a high quantity of females with access to the Internet and other information resources.

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Media, being a highly significant area of concern, appear to be one of the most essential, but simultaneously challenging spheres of work for the advancement of gender equality. Since formal or, in other words, lawful discrimination against females can be abjured, the main challenge consists in the necessity of changing the established set of attitudes, which has been solidified by centuries of socialization and internalized by people through customs, cultures, and religions (Kaul, 2011, p. 175). The media have a significant potential role in the process of the mind liberation, but the facts demonstrate that media appear to be more frequently a part of the problem instead of being a solution to it (Georgiou, 2013). In fact, there is evidence that out of all sources of gender stereotypes the media are the sturdiest. This is the main reason why its role in depicting and objectifying roles and images of females cannot be neglected (Kaul, 2011). Gender discrimination and gender sensitization around the globe, especially in developing countries, are widely debated issues. There is no doubt that media represent awareness of gender discrimination, but they frequently ignore the issue of its elimination (Parikka, 2015). The facts demonstrate that the media continue being male-dominated as the ratio of male-female workers is greatly imbalanced in favor of men. Less than five percent of all journalists are females, while a highly limited number of them have been capable of obtaining access to top management positions, indicating that the mens-world perspective predominates and holds the oscillation in the media discourse (Parikka, 2015).

Moreover, female journalists are not privileged enough to be a part of the policy-making team. The fact that females are not appointed to deal with complicated tasks and are rarely selected for overseas trainings/courses/studies actually discourages them for pursuing careers in journalism (Kaul, 2011). Thus, womens under-representation in media is the main hurdle for a better portrayal of women. In fact, all forms of mass media, starting with newspapers and ending with radio and television, adhere to the pattern suggesting that males have roles with a higher status, while females have mostly lower status roles, being passers-by and victims (Parikka, 2015). Moreover, images of females in the media principally portray women as sex objects, in domestic roles, or in less active postures than men, which profoundly influences the cognition of females and the society in which they live (Kaul, 2011). Therefore, the general picture is far from being objective and can be viewed as stereotypical. This actually destroys the morality and hinders realization of fundamental globalization advantages discussed previously, while gender-sensitive media can impact policy-makers and provide women with a direction through information, especially women residing in rural regions.

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In-Class Practical Activity

An in-class activity will be a seminar discussing the topic: Is media appropriately promoting gender equality?. This practical activity will incorporate different steps and has been specifically chosen for the discussion because it does not require additional knowledge of the topic or presented concepts. The first step will consists in the discussion of current commercial advertisements. The second step will incorporate the discussion and analysis of stereotypical portrayals of females and males. The third step will stand for the analysis of males authority/aggressor and females incompetence/victim in media. This practical activity is necessary for the analysis of the impact of media and globalization on gender equality as media appear to be an integral part of daily life, being the most pervasive and one of the most powerful instruments portraying men as dominating in numbers, status, authority, and will. The media convey specific messages and incorporate them into societal consciousness at every turn. The activity concentrates on three major themes, which demonstrate how media represent gender. Firstly, females are underrepresented, thus falsely implying that males should be viewed as the cultural norm, while females seem to be insignificant or invisible. Secondly, males and females are represented in a stereotypical way, reflecting and sustaining socially endorsed gender views. Thirdly, the portrayal of relationships between males and females focus on traditional functions and roles, at the same time normalizing the violence against females.

Example of the Essay Prompt

Students will be required to write an essay on one of the following topics:

  • Strategies for creating gender equality in media;
  • Influence of globalization and media on gender equality in developing countries;
  • Women and globalization.

All essay topics are connected to the current lecture. Students will have to find additional information on the theme of the impact of media and globalization on gender equality. The first topic will allow concentrating primarily on media with the media being the most pervasive and one of the most powerful foundations of the societal mindset that has created new problems regarding gender equality instead of solving it. Media should be the major instrument of promoting gender equality and students will be asked to provide specific strategies, which can be utilized to achieve this objective. The second topic will require students to conduct an in-depth analysis of the impact of globalization and media on developing countries, including India, Central America, Africa, etc.

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This will allow demonstrating economic, societal, and political dimensions of globalization and media. The third topic will reveal impacts of globalization through the increased partaking of females in the market economy and the hidden consolidation of gender inequalities within and between countries. This analysis will help to single out cultural and societal formulations of gender roles, functions, and relations. In addition, a lot of determinants affecting the issue both positively and negatively should be viewed, encompassing cultures, traditions, requirements, and policies with a focus on different social groups.

Conclusion

The current lecture is dedicated to the topic of the impact of media and globalization on gender equality. It shows that trade openness and distribution of information and communication technologies have helped to improve female access to economic possibilities, increasing salaries and the overall demand for female labor. Moreover, increased access to information, mainly via the broader exposure to television and the Internet, has provided the possibility to obtain knowledge about life and social standards in other places and countries around the globe, hence allowing to alter perceptions and promoting more egalitarian attitudes. In addition, economic empowerment discussed earlier has assisted in reinforcing the shift in gender roles. Finally, media, which represent the main force in formulating the mindset, appear to create problems rather than solving them because of the negative and stereotypes portrayal of both males and females. This is the main reason why the media should not be ignored as they have to become the major force in capitalizing on the benefits of globalization instead of impeding progress.

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