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.


More than 700 of you wrote to our government to ask them to put a stop to sexist advertising. You’ve added your voices to those of young people around Australia who are worried about the impact of these ads. You’ve helped to make sure this issue doesn’t drop off the radar until the next media scandal around a regressive advertising campaign. We’re expecting a response from the Premier, and we’ll be sure to share it with you.

Petition now closed.

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