UN Women is partnering with The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to analyze the representations of female characters in family films globally. This is the first time a study of this nature has been done.
They’ve commissioned the study from Stacy Smith of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California who has been a leading researcher on this issue. The study will look at top-grossing international movies in countries like Italy, Japan, Russia, China, Australia, France and others.
As we’ve talked about before, The Geena Davis Institute has been leading the way in this discussion. Only 28.3% of all speaking roles in family films were female–and many of them were shown as stereotypes or sexualized.
Lakshmi Puri, acting head of UN Women, released a statement about the importance of this study.
There is no doubt that gender stereotypes in the media are influential socio-psychological factors in how women and girls are perceived. They also
influence their self-esteem and relationships between the sexes. We cannot let the negative depiction of women and girls erode the hard gains that have
been made on gender equality and women’s empowerment. We hope that the study will address factors that positively impact the perception of women in
society, positive role models of women and girls and men and boys, and the value of respectful relationships that can foster and benefit from women’s
Davis also commented on the impact that this study will have on girls everywhere.
Media images have an enormous impact on children’s self-esteem and aspirations. This is why we decided to launch a global gender in media study: if girls
see it, they can be it.
The results of the study will be released in Fall 2014 at the 2nd Global Symposium on Gender in Media.