International Advertising Association (IAA) has launched the IAA Gender Sensitisation Drive – the components of which seek to fundamentally change the deep rooted bias against women.
“The initiative has an acronym ‘VOW’ standing for ‘Violence on Women’ which we seek to stop, consciously doing our bit and taking a vow to get rid off this scourge in our society,” Srinivasan K Swamy, President, IAA India Chapter.
The initiative consists of two equally important segments”
Gender sensitisation seminars for content creators
The first part of the drive would be to hold a series of seminars across India to sensitise content writers in film and TV industry, story writers (in print media) and in advertising, to guard against typifying women and on other gender nuances, and create focussed awareness about the right way to project women across media. The seminars would be addressed by a galaxy of experts in the field and also leading lights of the communications industry.
The first one is already scheduled in Mumbai on February 16. IAA is hoping to have the Union Minister of Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath to inaugurate it.
Seminars are also being planned in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune in the next few months.
Pradeep Guha, IAA Regional Director (Asia Pacific) said, “This is yet another instance of the IAA taking the lead and showing how the power of communications could be used for a good cause. This would go a long way in sensitising people on a very important issue.”
Multi-media advertising campaign against ‘eve teasing’
The second initiative is a national advertising campaign that will use the creative resources of the communications industry and the strength of media linkages to use creative communications to try and change behavioural patterns in a manner that would benefit women. Eve teasing has been identified as the critical issue that needs to be addressed.
Swamy said, “Eve teasing is seen as the mother of most evils affecting women. Today’s eve teaser is tomorrow’s molester, and could be a future rapist. It is necessary to nip this in the bud itself. Research and experience of experts in the field like UNFPA and leading NGOs like Laadli have also suggested this subject as the critical one to address.”
A national contest would be run inviting entries from creative people all over the country on how to tackle this issue through effective communication. The entries for this contest would be judged by the best creative minds in the communications industry and shortlist some good campaigns; and an elite jury consisting of leaders from a cross section of society and NGOs would then select the winning campaign. The IAA would fund the production of this winning entry and use its strong media linkages to run the campaign on all newspapers and TV channels across the country.
Kaushik Roy, Chairman, IAA Public Service Committee said “You will realise that in a period of about three months we will have a concentrated burst of positive attention on the importance of women’s issues. We believe that such an initiative conducted by the entire communications industry lead by the IAA would have a very salutary effect on the burning issues confronting women today.”