16
Days


Activism Against Gender-Based Violence


Sick of ads showing dumb dads and overly sexualised women?

Seen an advertisement recently and thought “wow, that’s sexist!”?

Concerned that gender stereotypes demean everyone and make violence against women and girls more socially acceptable?

Us too.

We’re using these 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence to ask the Victorian Government to ban sexist advertising. You can help by sending us your pictures and signing the open letter below.

To: The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria

Dear Premier Andrews,

We the undersigned believe that sexist advertising is harmful to us and all Victorians.

It reinforces stereotypes including those that show women and girls as only sexual objects. These beliefs and attitudes then influence how people act when confronted with violent behaviour or how they respond when we hear about violence against women and girls.

We thank you for committing to review laws against sexist advertising in your government’s 2016 gender equality strategy.

It’s been almost a year since the strategy was developed, so during these 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, we are asking you to do the following to make the ambitions of your strategy a reality:

- Implement the commitment in Safe and Strong: A Victorian Gender Equality Strategy to review laws around sexist advertising
- Introduce a state-wide ban on advertising that objectifies women or reinforces unhealthy gender stereotypes (for example by portraying women as solely responsible for housework or suggesting men are inept at childcare duties), following momentum in other countries including Iceland, France and the UK
- Fine companies that do not comply with regulations around sexist advertising

Yours faithfully,

Why does it matter?


Sexist advertising influences the way we feel about men and women and their roles in society. It can reinforce harmful stereotypes including those that show women and girls as only sexual objects or as less valued than men and boys. These beliefs and attitudes then influence how we act when confronted with violent behaviour or how we respond when we hear about violence.

Plan International Australia’s recent report, The Dream Gap, found that in these older teen years, girls are acutely concerned about how the media portrays gender, with only 8% of girls aged 15-17 believing that men and women are treated equally on TV and 7% in magazines. An overwhelming 85% of this age group felt it would be easier for girls to be leaders if more women were shown doing ‘men’s jobs’ in the media and in advertisements. This should be a wake-up call to Australian media organisations. When media and advertising reinforces gendered stereotypes, this can have a profoundly negative influence on girls and boys.


The Sexist Ad Challenge


Help us find the top 10 most sexist ads in Australia today! It’s time people in power recognised the scale of the problem impacting young women - and men - and ban ads that do damage.

  • Step 1: Find sexist ad
  • Step 2: Take photo of sexist ad
  • Step 3: Post ad to social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) using the hashtag #SexistAdChallenge
  • Step 4: Stay tuned. We will announce the ‘winners’ on 12 December 2017