Following the nationwide angry mood in the aftermath of the horrific Delhi gangrape, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Cabinet Secretariat have asked the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry to draw up a plan to ensure the positive representation of women in media.
If the proposals mooted by the I&B Ministry were to materialise, one would see a 30-second clip on women’s empowerment and other related issues before the screening of regular shows in film theatres.
And the ministry has roped in the Union Women and Child Development Ministry to run the campaign.
Against the backdrop of the popular culture in the country, which has seen the depiction of women in a negative light,the I&B mandarins believe that there is a need to sensitise the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC) first, as it has the final say in clearing the films.
“As there is a need to sensitise the film industry about the issues related to the negative portrayal of women, awareness workshops should be held for the key industry stakeholders, including the CBFC,” a ministry note said.
Besides the film industry, the ad agencies have come under criticism for employing women models to sell products ranging from deodorants to men’s garments. As part of the I&B Ministry’s efforts, the advertising self-regulatory body -- the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)-- would be asked to hold workshops for its stakeholders.
“These steps would complement the recent Anti-rape Bill and the other legal measures taken by the Centre and help create a positive image of women in the media,” a senior ministry official said.
The self-regulatory body of entertainment channels, the Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC), has also joined in the efforts by holding a workshop for the script writers in Mumbai to sensitise them on women’s issues and the need to do away with misogynist humour or stereotyping the gender issues.