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How women are portrayed in media

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

What does IWD mean to you? This year’s theme is #choosetochallenge I’d like to challenge the media to give it some attention. How many people even know what it stands for?

Maybe we too can have a parade to recognise the role women play in general. In general because that role is going to vary greatly depending on where she lives and what resources she has access to.

My sister and I helped organise a IWD event a few years ago. Sadly I don’t remember that year’s theme. And that’s the point. Without action the theme is just words.

So for the year ahead, will the media go looking for stories that show the 2021 theme being carried out? This time next year, will we see a list of achievements, improvements and changes to women’s lives because of what took place in 2021? Wouldn't it be great if these untold stories – by men and women – were presented to the world?

Perhaps that despite being in the 21st century, these stories are not seen to be of interest, so why spend resources on reporting about them? Throughout history, women's discoveries, artworks, and stories have either been hidden, down played or claimed by men. Or women have been called evil, temptress, witch and mad. Personally I can become all of those (bar temptress) into one if my life's work gets credited to my male counterpart. That's a real turn off.

It shouldn't be Us against Them. Hopefully as we move further away from the dark ages (how long has it been now?) more and more young men will see the women around them as allies rather than as a threat. I'm very hopeful as I have great faith in today's young generation, based on their actions on other significant social movements.

ps: my other challenge is for women past 30 to be seen in imagery. I can tell you I had to search far and wide to find this fabulous photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash .

Considering that women statistically live to be 80 on average globally, there’s plenty of faces out there waiting to be captured by the lens. I did find umpteen photos at the other end of the spectrum – very old women but even then they only live in India, Mongolia or Tibet apparently.

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