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Role of media in accelerating women empowerment

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Abstract

Governments, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations are responsible for the prevention of all forms of discrimination against women. Besides all of them, the responsibility of the mass media is also big in this issue. Because effect of the media is very large in the dissemination and interpretation of a lot of knowledge, innovation and the news. Today, the media constitute a big part of our lives. Almost everyone benefits from the mass media. Actually, it's a really big power to announce our thoughts and our goals about empowering women's economy. Why do not we bring up the ideas about media efforts for women's economic empowerment? What is the role of the mass media in the creation of women's social roles to reinforce them? How can we benefit from mass media for gender equality and women's economic empowerment? How can be improved women's visibility and effect in the decision making process in the media sector? In this paper the powerful and positive role that the media can play in the empowerment of women and gender equality has been analyzed and identified.
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International Journal of Advanced Education and Research
ISSN: 2455-5746
www.newresearchjournal.com/education
Volume 1; Issue 1; January 2016; Page No. 16-19
Role of media in accelerating women empowerment
Ananta Narayana, Tauffiqu Ahamad
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad.
Abstract
Governments, educational institutions, non-governmental organizations are responsible for the prevention of all forms of
discrimination against women. Besides all of them, the responsibility of the mass media is also big in this issue. Because effect of
the media is very large in the dissemination and interpretation of a lot of knowledge, innovation and the news. Today, the media
constitute a big part of our lives. Almost everyone benefits from the mass media. Actually, it’s a really big power to announce our
thoughts and our goals about empowering women’s economy. Why do not we bring up the ideas about media efforts for women’s
economic empowerment? What is the role of the mass media in the creation of women's social roles to reinforce them? How can
we benefit from mass media for gender equality and women's economic empowerment? How can be improved women's visibility
and effect in the decision making process in the media sector? In this paper the powerful and positive role that the media can play
in the empowerment of women and gender equality has been analyzed and identified.
Keywords: Women, Media, women empowerment, economic empowerment, women socialization.
Introduction
Media is considered to be the most important tool of society in
the modern times as it has the power to reach out to a large
audience by mass communication and create an impact
wherever it can reach, which now has become far and wide.
Social media through its ever updating apps and networking is
an inevitable source of influence on mass. The media at large
has been instrumental though not to the degree desired in
supporting the movement for women emancipation by focusing
on the neglect and marginalization of the position of the
women in society. Communication is extremely important for
women’s development and mass media play significant role. It
is to be distinguished that growth of women’s education and
their entry into this business through employment has
contributed to the growth of media. If Media can be a powerful
agent of change, it can be an equally powerful agent of
oppression. It is without a doubt a dominant medium for
advocacy of gender equality and the status of women. Yet the
media can also reinforce stereotyped images of women and
their roles in society. Women and their contribution to the
society have always been overshadowed by the news of their
hardships and atrocities inflicted upon them. It is indispensable
that the print and electronic media present a balanced picture of
women’s diverse lives and contributions to society in a
changing world. As media has huge influence on people, it
should act with more responsibility before reporting and
publishing any news. Portrayal of women which is derogatory
to their image by media is an evidence of lack of gender
sensitivity and has called for making them accountable for such
representation of women. Such instances had led the National
Commission for Women to recommend amendment in the
Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition Act) 1986.
The government in a move to strengthen the legal machinery
protecting the dignity of women, approved amendments to the
Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 in
2012.The aim was to include new technologies like MMS and
the electronic media and some which were left outside the
ambit of the Act like posters and TV serials which perpetuate
stereotypes of women. Promoting a balanced and non-
stereotyped portrayal of women in the media is very important
to use it in a progressive way and avoiding the ill effects of any
such medium of Media. Women's knowledge about media and
access to and control over the various forms of conventional
and modern media is still limited in most societies.
The increase in the participation and access of women to self-
expression and decision-making through the media and new
technologies of communication is in a way empowering
women. The powerful and positive role that the media can play
in the empowerment of women and gender equality should be
supported and further explored.
Women and the Media
Objective
1. To increase the participation and access of women to
expression and decision-making in and through the media
and new technologies of communication.
2. To promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of
women in the media.
During the past decade, advances in information technology
have facilitated a global communications network that
transcends national boundaries and has an impact on public
policy, private attitudes and behavior, especially of children
and young adults. Everywhere the potential exists for the media
to make a far greater contribution to the advancement of
women.
More women are involved in careers in the communications
sector, but few have attained positions at the decision-making
level or serve on governing boards and bodies that influence
media policy. The lack of gender sensitivity in the media is
evidenced by the failure to eliminate the gender-based
stereotyping that can be found in public and private local,
national and international media organizations.
The continued projection of negative and degrading images of
women in media communications - electronic, print, visual and
audio - must be changed. Print and electronic media in most
countries do not provide a balanced picture of women's diverse
17
lives and contributions to society in a changing world. In
addition, violent and degrading or pornographic media
products are also negatively affecting women and their
participation in society. Programming that reinforces women's
traditional roles can be equally limiting. The world- wide trend
towards consumerism has created a climate in which
advertisements and commercial messages often portray women
primarily as consumers and target girls and women of all ages
inappropriately.
Women should be empowered by enhancing their skills,
knowledge and access to information technology. This will
strengthen their ability to combat negative portrayals of women
internationally and to challenge instances of abuse of the power
of an increasingly important industry. Self-regulatory
mechanisms for the media need to be created and strengthened
and approaches developed to eliminate gender-biased
programming. Most women, especially in developing
countries, are not able to access effectively the expanding
electronic information highways and therefore cannot establish
networks that will provide them with alternative sources of
information. Women therefore need to be involved in decision-
making regarding the development of the new technologies in
order to participate fully in their growth and impact.
In addressing the issue of the mobilization of the media,
Governments and other actors should promote an active and
visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective in
policies and programmes.
Objective-1
Increase the participation and access of women to expression
and decision-making in and through the media and new
technologies of communication
Actions to be taken
By Governments
a. Support women's education, training and employment to
promote and ensure women's equal access to all areas and
levels of the media;
b. Support research into all aspects of women and the media
so as to define areas needing attention and action and
review existing media policies with a view to integrating a
gender perspective;
c. Promote women's full and equal participation in the media,
including management, programming, education, training
and research;
d. Aim at gender balance in the appointment of women and
men to all advisory, management, regulatory or monitoring
bodies, including those connected to the private and State
or public media;
e. Encourage, to the extent consistent with freedom of
expression, these bodies to increase the number of
programmes for and by women to see to it that women's
needs and concerns are properly addressed;
f. Encourage and recognize women's media networks,
including electronic networks and other new technologies
of communication, as a means for the dissemination of
information and the exchange of views, including at the
international level, and support women's groups active in
all media work and systems of communications to that
end;
g. Encourage and provide the means or incentives for the
creative use of programmes in the national media for the
dissemination of information on various cultural forms of
indigenous people and the development of social and
educational issues in this regard within the framework of
national law;
h. Guarantee the freedom of the media and its subsequent
protection within the framework of national law and
encourage, consistent with freedom of expression, the
positive involvement of the media in development and
social issues.
By national and international media systems
Develop, consistent with freedom of expression, regulatory
mechanisms, including voluntary ones, that promote balanced
and diverse portrayals of women by the media and
international communication systems and that promote
increased participation by women and men in production and
decision-making.
By Governments, as appropriate or national machinery for
the advancement of women
a. Encourage the development of educational and training
programmes for women in order to produce information
for the mass media, including funding of experimental
efforts, and the use of the new technologies of
communication, cybernetics space and satellite, whether
public or private;
b. Encourage the use of communication systems, including
new technologies, as a means of strengthening women's
participation in democratic processes;
c. Facilitate the compilation of a directory of women media
experts;
d. Encourage the participation of women in the development
of professional guidelines and codes of conduct or other
appropriate self-regulatory mechanisms to promote
balanced and non-stereotyped portrayals of women by the
media.
By non-governmental organizations and media professional
associations:
a. Encourage the establishment of media watch groups that
can monitor the media and consult with the media to
ensure that women's needs and concerns are properly
reflected;
b. Train women to make greater use of information
technology for communication and the media, including at
the international level;
c. Create networks among and develop information
programmes for non-governmental organizations, women's
organizations and professional media organizations in
order to recognize the specific needs of women in the
media, and facilitate the increased participation of women
in communication, in particular at the international level,
in support of South-South and North-South dialogue
among and between these organizations, inter alia, to
promote the human rights of women and equality between
women and men;
d. Encourage the media industry and education and media
training institutions to develop, in appropriate languages,
traditional, indigenous and other ethnic forms of media,
such as story-telling, drama, poetry and song, reflecting
their cultures, and utilize these forms of communication to
disseminate information on development and social issues.
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Objective-2
Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of
women in the media
Actions to be taken
By Governments and international organizations, to the
extent consistent with freedom of expression:
a. Promote research and implementation of a strategy of
information, education and communication aimed at
promoting a balanced portrayal of women and girls and
their multiple roles;
b. Encourage the media and advertising agencies to develop
specific programmes to raise awareness of the Platform for
Action;
c. Encourage gender-sensitive training for media
professionals, including media owners and managers, to
encourage the creation and use of non-stereotyped,
balanced and diverse images of women in the media;
d. Encourage the media to refrain from presenting women as
inferior beings and exploiting them as sexual objects and
commodities, rather than presenting them as creative
human beings, key actors and contributors to and
beneficiaries of the process of development;
e. Promote the concept that the sexist stereotypes displayed
in the media are gender discriminatory, degrading in
nature and offensive;
f. Take effective measures or institute such measures,
including appropriate legislation against pornography and
the projection of violence against women and children in
the media.
By the mass media and advertising organizations:
a. Develop, consistent with freedom of expression,
professional guidelines and codes of conduct and other
forms of self-regulation to promote the presentation of
non-stereotyped images of women;
b. Establish, consistent with freedom of expression,
professional guidelines and codes of conduct that address
violent, degrading or pornographic materials concerning
women in the media, including advertising;
c. Develop a gender perspective on all issues of concern to
communities, consumers and civil society;
d. Increase women's participation in decision-making at all
levels of the media. By the media, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector, in collaboration, as
appropriate, with national machinery for the advancement
of women:
a. Promote the equal sharing of family responsibilities
through media campaigns that emphasize gender equality
and non-stereotyped gender roles of women and men
within the family and that disseminate information aimed
at eliminating spousal and child abuse and all forms of
violence against women, including domestic violence;
b. Produce and/or disseminate media materials on women
leaders, as leaders who bring to their positions of
leadership many different life experiences, including but
not limited to their experiences in balancing work and
family responsibilities, as mothers, as professionals, as
managers and as entrepreneurs, to provide role models,
particularly to young women;
c. Promote extensive campaigns, making use of public and
private educational programmes, to disseminate
information about and increase awareness of the human
rights of women;
d. Support the development of and finance, as appropriate,
alternative media and the use of all means of
communication to disseminate information to and about
women and their concerns;
e. Develop approaches and train experts to apply gender
analysis with regard to media programmes.
Suggestions & Recommendations
Media have a huge potential for the empowerment of women,
however the overall use of this media by women is very low.
Media has played an important role in empowering the women.
The way media has played its part in portraying about the
atrocities faced by the women and empowering the women, no
other sector has done.
The urban educated women need information mainly on the
following things:
Employment/Job Prospects in India and Abroad.
Research and Information.
Educational opportunities.
Career advancement facilities.
Beauty and Fashion, Hair care, Health & Lifestyle,
Apparel and accessories Matrimonial ads.
Art and Entertainment, Music videos and films.
Social Support system for working women.
The urban lower middle class women need information mainly
on the following topics:
Employment /Job Prospects in India /self locality.
Inexpensive childcare & Healthcare.
Educational facilities at their doorstep.
Dowry system, other legal rights like self help, violence
etc.
Information about NGO’s.
Legal provisions against Sexual harassment, Domestic
Violence and Social injustice.
Conclusion
The role of Media is very important to accelerate Women
empowerment which will lead to economic empowerment of
women. The Mass Media, however, like all social media, are
good and practical means to increase, through the
dissemination of healthy concepts of being woman, of what is
the role of women in modern society, of good examples that
women give us every day, of the results they have achieved and
continue to reach out to women in many fields of economics
and beyond, the social consideration of women, giving to
young women good ideas and examples for their economic
empowerment. Mass Media could also make a strong
contribution, with the implementation of media campaigns, to
the dissemination of the concept of gender equality. If people
see in the media the overcome of the differences between men
and women will bring him back into everyday life. The Mass
Media have always unconsciously affected and influenced the
thinking and behavior of society. Media should focus success
stories of established, successful & renowned women inspite of
indecent representation of women. As an important agent of
socialization shaping of gender roles, its mechanisms for
checks and balances with respect to gender need to be
strengthened. The media should enable projection of women in
19
a decent and dignified way and promote respect and dignity to
women avoiding negative portrayal of women.
The media professionals need to be sensitized on gender issues
and a system of rewards may be developed for those who are
able to portray women in positive manner. Likewise, stringent
punitive action should be taken against those who defy the
norms. New innovative decent presentation of women, based
on Indian culture and society through media must be
introduced. A strong legislative effort coupled with a wide
spread social awareness with morality and ethics is needed to
fight this menace so that women are not perceived as a
commodity but as individual with right and dignity.
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... Over the past two decades, media has been considered a powerful tool for bringing women's rights issues to the attention of a wider public [7] and has also been used as an attempt to enhance various health behaviours in mass populations [8]. Some campaigns incorporate new-age media such as the internet, computers, and mobile phones [9,10]. The advent of the new-age media has proven potential for mobilizing attention and accountability to women's rights, and challenging discrimination against them [11]. ...
... Current results showed that women who are exposed to media had higher odds of negotiating for safer sex compared to women who were not exposed to media. The findings are in line with the findings of previous studies that have found that mass media exposure enhances women's autonomy [7,9,11,34], and this includes the ability to negotiate for safer sex. The findings possibly suggest that, generally, mass media is a great avenue for negotiating for safer sex, as some literature has explained [9,34]. ...
... The findings are in line with the findings of previous studies that have found that mass media exposure enhances women's autonomy [7,9,11,34], and this includes the ability to negotiate for safer sex. The findings possibly suggest that, generally, mass media is a great avenue for negotiating for safer sex, as some literature has explained [9,34]. However, caution needs to be taken about the specific media to be used to reach out to the particular women of interest. ...
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1) Background: Improving sexual autonomy among women in sexual unions comes with various benefits, including the reduction of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections. We examined the relationship between mass media exposure and safer sex negotiation among women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). (2) Methods: The study involved a cross-sectional analysis of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data of 29 sub-Saharan African countries. A total of 224,647 women aged 15-49 were included in our analyses. We examined the association between mass media exposure and safer sex negotiation using binary logistic regression analysis. The results are presented using a crude odds ratio (cOR) and adjusted odds ratio (aOR), with their respective confidence intervals (CIs). Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. (3) Results: The overall prevalence of safer sex negotiation among women in sexual unions in SSA was 71.6% (71.4-71.8). Women exposed to mass media had higher odds of negotiating for safer sex compared with those who had no exposure (aOR = 1.94; 95% CI = 1.86-2.02), and this persisted after controlling for covariates (mater-nal age, wealth index, maternal educational level, partner's age, partner's educational level, sex of household head, religion, place of residence, and marital status) (aOR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.35-1.46). The disaggregated results showed higher odds of safer sex negotiation among women exposed to mass media in all the individual countries, except Ghana, Comoros, Rwanda, and Namibia. (4) Conclusions: The findings could inform policies (e.g., transformative mass media educational seminars) and interventions (e.g., face-to-face counselling; small group sensitization sessions) in SSA on the crucial role of mass media in increasing safer sex practice among women in sexual unions. To accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal five's targets on empowering all women and safeguarding their reproductive rights, the study recommends that countries such as Ghana, Comoros, Rwanda, and Namibia need to intensify their efforts (e.g., regu‐ lar sensitization campaigns) in increasing safer sex negotiation among women to counter power imbalances in sexual behaviour.
... Despite studies indicating the negative impact of media on the body image satisfaction of women (Scirrotto Drames, 2016;Uchôa et al., 2019), all over the world, media has been considered as a powerful vehicle for bringing women's rights issues to the attention of a wider public, galvanizing action on the streets of cities around the world and encouraging policy makers to step up commitments to gender equality (Loiseau and Nowacka, 2015). Narayana and Ahamad (2016) revealed that media has a great potential for the empowerment of women by increasing their participation and access of women to expression Abbreviations: Abbreviations SSA, sub-Saharan Africa; COR, crude odds ratios; AOR, adjusted odds ratios; PSU, primary sampling units; EA, enumeration areas; DHS, Demographic and Health Survey; CI, confidence interval. and decision-making. ...
... Apart from mass media exposure, studies have also found associations between some socio-demographic determinants (e.g., age, education) and household decision making capacity (Head et al., 2015;Akram, 2018;Yount et al., 2018). For example, women with higher education are more likely to take household decisions (Krause et al., 2016;Narayana and Ahamad, 2016;Sell and Minot, 2018). Wealth (Akram, 2018), occupation (Head et al., 2015;Salem et al., 2017) and place of residence have also been found to be associated with the capacity of a woman to take household decisions (Sharma and Shekhar, 2015;Sell and Minot, 2018). ...
... We also found no statistically significant association between the frequency of listening to radio and women empowerment. Although previous studies have identified both radio and newspaper to be playing roles in women empowerment (Narayana and Ahamad, 2016;Dasgupta, 2019) there are several pathways we can explain these contrary findings. For instance, in relation to newspaper, findings of previous studies, have indicated that in SSA the impact of newspaper on women empowerment depends on the level of literacy and analytical skills which have been to be low within the sub-region (Bhattacharya, 2016). ...
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Background: Women's household decision-making capacity is an essential component of their empowerment which include decisions related to personal health care, large household purchase and family visitations. Despite research evidence acknowledging mass media's influences on women's empowerment, including their ability to take household decisions, empirical data through multi-country comparison on mass media exposure and women's decision making capacity are sparse. This study sought to assess the association between exposure to mass media (television, radio and newspaper/magazine) and women's household decision-making capacity in 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Materials and Methods: Data from current Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in 30 countries in SSA from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2016 were used. Binary Logistic Regression analysis was used to assess the association between mass media exposure and women's household decision-making capacity in SSA. Results were presented using crude odds ratios (COR) and adjusted odds ratios (AOR). Results: Women who watched television almost every day had higher capacity to take household decisions, compared to those who did not watch television at all. Women who read newspaper/magazine less than once a week were less likely to take household decisions compared to those who never read newspaper/magazine. However, there was no association between exposure to radio and household decision-making capacity. Regarding the covariates, age, level of education, wealth index, occupation, and parity showed significant associations with women's household decision-making capacity. Conclusion: Findings stressed the positive contribution of mass media in enhancing women's household decision-making capacity in SSA. Viewing television, a model of mass media, is a very powerful conduit to enhance the household decision-making capacity of women. The use of mass media, especially television in communicating the relevance and ways of achieving household decision-making capacity for all women in SSA is paramount and perhaps, in other low and middle-income countries of the world. Interest groups that require greater attention are women with less exposure to television as well as women in their early reproductive age, the poor, women who are not working and rural residents.
... However, these studies not focused on women, particularly rural women, and investigated only a few correlates of MPO. Although media exposure is considered a key component of improved women empowerment (Seidu et al., 2020;Narayana & Ahamad, 2016), none of the earlier studies have investigated the role of media exposure on women's MPO in the context of rural Bangladesh. In patriarchal societies, the household head plays a crucial role in household decision making and usually decide the amount to be spent on mobile phone (Zainudeen & Galpaya, 2015;Zainudeen et al., 2010). ...
... Rather than lack of incompetence, lower empowerment might be the key reason behind observing a lower rate of MPO among these groups. In this regard, earlier studies showed that elderly women, women with better education and media exposure were more empowered and involved in household decision making (Narayana & Ahamad, 2016;Seidu et al., 2020;Sell & Minot, 2018). According to this proposition, women who are more involved in their household decision-making might be more likely to own a mobile, as it is still considered a household asset in Bangladesh (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) & UNICEF Bangladesh, 2019; Khatun et al., 2017). ...
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... This is because of low awareness about schemes provided by the government and the inability to use available schemes. The influence of Media is significant in promoting women empowerment and gender non-discrimination [2]. The government of India affirmed the year 2001 as the 'Year of Women Empowerment' to bring an equal position with men [3]. ...
... (1) To assess the level of awareness among Minority women on various government welfare schemes in India. (2) To know the level of welfare scheme utilization among minority women. ...
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Purpose: Even though the government had taken many initiatives for the empowerment of minority women but the success of such initiatives is questionable. A strong tool for perfect empowerment requires financial independence and self-reliant, and this can be achieved only through financial support. With this intention, a present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of awareness and utilisation of various welfare schemes on the empowerment of minority women. Design/Methodology/Approach: A study was conducted in Karnataka by taking 388 minority women as a sample unit. Simple random sampling techniques were used to select sample units and primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire. Hypotheses are developed to support the primary objective and tested with simple regression analysis. Findings/Result: The study found that minority women have a very low level of awareness and utilisation of government welfare schemes which has adversely affected the overall development of minority women. This study suggested to take awareness programs for minority women in rural areas to achieve overall empowerment in India. Paper Type: Analytical Paper
... This is because of low awareness about schemes provided by the government and the inability to use available schemes. The influence of Media is significant in promoting women empowerment and gender non-discrimination [2]. The government of India affirmed the year 2001 as the 'Year of Women Empowerment' to bring an equal position with men [3]. ...
... (1) To assess the level of awareness among Minority women on various government welfare schemes in India. (2) To know the level of welfare scheme utilization among minority women. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Even though the government had taken many initiatives for the empowerment of minority women but the success of such initiatives is questionable. A strong tool for perfect empowerment requires financial independence and self-reliant, and this can be achieved only through financial support. With this intention, a present study was conducted to evaluate the impact of awareness and utilisation of various welfare schemes on the empowerment of minority women. Design/Methodology/Approach: A study was conducted in Karnataka by taking 388 minority women as a sample unit. Simple random sampling techniques were used to select sample units and primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire. Hypotheses are developed to support the primary objective and tested with simple regression analysis. Findings/Result: The study found that minority women have a very low level of awareness and utilisation of government welfare schemes which has adversely affected the overall development of minority women. This study suggested to take awareness programs for minority women in rural areas to achieve overall empowerment in India.
... Media is the game changer as reported by the community members and as such the agent of change by disseminating correct information. The role of media in bringing about positive change has been highlighted in previous studies as well (Narayana and Ahamad, 2016;Ausserer et al., 2014). Often times, it is easier to publish negative news regarding healthcare than positive news (Bartlett et al., 2002). ...
Article
Purpose-Healthcare personnel (HCP) are at high risk of facing violence globally. Their sanctity and respect are threatened by violence in healthcare settings. Mostly, this occurs at the hands of patients and community members. This study explores the reasons for disrespect and violence against HCP by patients and community members in selected communities of two provinces of Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach-A qualitative study design was applied to develop an understanding of the processes that explained the community member's perception of disrespect and violence. A total of 12 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 11 community members on an average in each focus group and eight individual in-depth interviews (IDIs), each lasting for 40-50 min were conducted with community members. Data were analyzed thematically and guided by phenomenology. Findings-The study found that community members perceived HCP as "angels on duty." However they justified the anger of offenders as a result of shortcomings on the part of HCP and the healthcare settings. Furthermore, they blamed the chaos and ongoing crisis due to illiteracy and corruption within the society with existent poverty as triggers of violence and disrespect. Community members emphasized the role of media and labeled it as the game changer in building the image of HCP. They further stressed upon building competencies of the HCP and bridging the gap between HCP and communities to enhance respect and decrease violence on HCP. Practical implications-Disrespect and violence against HCP can be minimized through improving competencies of HCP. Furthermore, media should play a positive role in safeguarding the rights of HCP and building their image. A holistic approach is suggested whereby all stakeholders should be actively involved in promoting awareness and respect for HCP. Originality/value-Community members' perceptions have been taken into account, which is a unique and novel approach towards building inclusive communities.
... Previous studies have revealed that media has a great potential for empowering women by increasing their participation and access to expression and decision making. Mass media is a powerful tool to promote mobilize women's rights and challenge discrimination and other stereotypical behaviors against them [28,29]. Exposure to mass media also has the propensity to change norms, behaviors, and habits. ...
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Introduction: Globally, women’s empowerment is one of the important factors impacting the development of the nation. However, several women in developing countries, including Pakistan, experience a high level of gender discrimination and inequity. In this study, data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) were used to measure empowerment and its predictors among women in Pakistan. Methods: Pakistan’s 2017–2018 DHS dataset was used to measure women’s empowerment using two indicators, i.e., participation in decision making and views on wife beating among 4216 married women. The determinants of empowerment, such as age, place of residence, regions, wealth index, education, partner’s education, partner’s occupation, number of children, consanguinity, the age difference between husband and wife, house and land ownership, and house inheritance, are reported as prevalence ratios (PRs) with a 95% confidence intervals (CI). Multivariate regression models were used to produce covariate-adjusted PRs and 95% CIs. Results: More than half of all women were empowered (52.5%). Upon multivariate analysis, we identified that women from the province of Punjab (adjusted PR (aPR), 1.44; 95% CI, 1.20–1.73), Sindh (aPR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.35–1.96), and KPK (aPR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.91–1.31) compared to those living in Baluchistan; from the richest quantile (aPR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.37–1.99), followed by the richer quantile (aPR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.28–1.84), the middle quantile (aPR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.28–1.81), and the poorer quantile (aPR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.04–1.47) compared to women who were from the poorest quantile; who were highly educated (aPR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.25–1.67), followed by those who had a secondary education (aPR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.16–1.50) and a primary education (aPR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.02–1.35) compared to women who were not educated; and had exposure to mass media (aPR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.06–1.36) compared to those who had no exposure were more empowered. Conclusion: To conclude, women’s empowerment in Pakistan is affected by various socioeconomic factors, as well as exposure to mass media. Targeted strategies are needed to improve access to education, employment, and poverty alleviation among women, particularly those living in rural areas. Various mass media advertisements should be practiced, targeting community norms and supporting women’s empowerment.
... For her, women's participation in politics includes responsiveness to citizens' needs. Following this opinion, Narayana and Ahamad [11] affirm that media can play a powerful and positive role in the empowerment of women and gender equality. For this effect, they show focus on success stories of established, successful and renowned women in spite of indecent representation of women. ...
... 39,40 The critical role of mass media, especially radio and television, in reaching out to a large audience within sub-Saharan Africa is in no doubt. 57,58 It is therefore possible that there has not been conscious and wellfashioned involvement of the media in anti-domestic violence campaigns in Mali. A cost-effective mass media experiment by Innovations for Poverty Action to reduce violence against women yielded a positive outcome in Uganda, and this may be an option for Mali as well. ...
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Background : We assessed the association between women's participation in household decision making and justification of wife beating among married women ages 15-49 y in Mali. Methods : We employed a cross-sectional study design among 7893 women of reproductive age involving a two-stage sampling technique using version 6 of the Mali Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) data, which was conducted in 2018. Results : Approximately 37% participated in at least one household decision while 23.4% reported that they would not justify wife beating in any of the stated circumstances. Women who participated in at least one household decision had lower odds (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.834 [confidence interval {CI} 0.744 to 0.935]) of justifying wife beating. With respect to the covariates, we found that women 45-49 y of age had lower odds of justifying wife beating compared with those ages 15-19 y (AOR 0.569 [CI 0.424 to 0.764]). Women with higher education (AOR 0.419 [CI 0.265 to 0.662]) and those whose husbands had secondary education (AOR 0.825 [CI 0.683 to 0.995]) had lower odds of justifying wife beating. Women who lived in urban areas were less likely to justify wife-beating (AOR 0.328 [CI 0.275 to 0.390]) compared with those who lived in rural areas. Conclusion : This study suggests that participation in household decision making is associated with a significantly lower rate of justifying wife beating in Mali. These results underscore the need for various interventions to empower women to increase women's participation in decision making to reduce justification of domestic violence.
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