The European Parliament voted today in favour of a report on how marketing affects equality between men and women and perpetuates gender stereotypes. The EU report, drafted by the Women's Rights Committee, was adopted with 504 votes in favour, 110 against and 22 abstentions.
"When women and men are portrayed in a stereotypical way the consequence may be that it becomes difficult in other contexts to see women and men's resources and abilities in areas other than those of the traditional gender roles," Swedish MEP Svensson said. (translated from agencies)
Stereotypes in advertising continue despite EU efforts
Women’s rights/Equal opportunities - 03-09-2008 - 13:24
MEPs adopted an own-initiative report on how marketing and advertising affect equality between men and women. The report notes the continued widespread existence of male and female stereotypes despite various Community programmes to promote gender equality. The report was adopted with 504 votes in favour, 110 against and 22 abstentions.
Incitement and the media
The report calls on the EU institutions to monitor the implementation of existing provisions in European law on sex discrimination and incitement to hatred on the grounds of sex.
MEPs call on the EU institutions and Member States to develop awareness actions against sexist insults or degrading images of women and men in advertising and marketing.
The report calls on Member Sates to study and report on the image of women and men in advertising and marketing.
Women in advertising
MEPs note with extreme concern the advertising of sexual services, which reinforce stereotypes of women as objects, in publications, such as local newspapers, which are readily visible and available to children.
The European Parliament notes that marketing and advertising portrayals of the ideal body image can adversely affect the self-esteem of women and men, particularly teenagers and those susceptible to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Parliament calls on advertisers to consider carefully their use of extremely thin women to advertise products.
Extremely thin women
The report recommends that broadcasters, magazine publishers and advertisers adopt a more responsible editorial attitude towards the depiction of extremely thin women as role models and portray a more realistic range of body images and calls on advertisers in particular to consider more carefully their use of extremely thin women to advertise products.
Prize for equality in all Member States
The report also emphasises the need for good examples from a gender perspective in the media and advertising world in order to show that change is possible and desirable. The House emphasises the need for good examples from a gender perspective in the media and advertising world in order to show that change is possible and desirable. MEPs consider that Member States should make official the award of a prize by advertisers to members of their own industry, and a prize awarded by the public, to reward advertising which best breaks with gender stereotypes and presents a positive or status-enhancing image of women, men or relations between them.
Source: EU-parliament press release: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/expert/infopress_page/014-35962-245-09-36-902-20080902IPR35960-01-09-2008-2008-false/default_en.htm