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Gender discrimination persists in Moroccan Ramadan TV commercials

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A recent study conducted by the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) observed the persistent discriminatory representation of women in many public television commercials during Ramadan.

The study’s findings were unveiled on Tuesday during an interactive workshop in Rabat. This research initiative was part of the HACA’s commitment to promoting gender equality and its endorsement of the Marrakech Declaration on combating violence against women.

Titled “The Representation of Women in Audiovisual Advertising,” the study’s findings stem from a thorough analysis conducted over several years, scrutinizing over 750 advertisements aired during prime time on public television channels throughout the holy month of Ramadan from 2020 to 2023.

The analysis of the HACA underscored the persistence of sexist clichés in advertising, even with the notable decrease in overt gender stereotypes.

It highlighted a concerning trend where women continue to be predominantly portrayed within the domestic sphere, despite an increasing presence in professional settings. Conversely, men are more frequently depicted in positions of authority and control, while women are often portrayed as subordinate.

HACA also noted that several advertisements perpetuate messages and scenarios that validate the mental burden placed on women as primary or exclusive caregivers responsible for family well-being, household chores, and childcare duties.

Despite these disparities, the study also sheds light on some positive developments. Notably, there has been a significant decline in advertisements relying on gender stereotypes.

The same source disclosed, “Over nine years, the proportion of non-stereotypical advertisements has increased fivefold, rising from 9% in 2014 to 51% in 2023.”

Moreover, HACA observed a promising trend towards greater gender diversity and balanced representation of women and men in advertisements across various industries.

“Discriminatory and stereotypical representation of women and men in the media undermines societies’ potential for development and democratization,” asserted Latifa Akharbach, President of HACA, during the presentation of the study’s findings.

She urged, therefore, for collective mobilization to ensure fair representation of women in the media and to promote parity, diversity, and citizenship equality, which is essential for long-lasting progress in this area.

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