Mass media, in the form of newspaper, radio, television have been influencing the social, cultural, economic, spiritual, political, and religious aspects of society as well as personal level thinking, feeling and acting. Media feed the people with the latest information and create the need for change in the contemporary society. It should be mentioned here that mass media have both positive and negative role in the society.
Media is considered as the fourth pillar of democracy. It is the mirror of the society and it reflects of happenings of the society. By gradually shaping public opinion on personal beliefs and even people’s self perception, media influences the process of socialization and shapes ideology and thinking. Therefore, media can play a significant role in sensitizing the society about gender issues. The media has to shoulder responsibility for the social uplift of a society. Media can effectively shape public opinion, influences, personal belief and it can also alter people’s self-perception. Therefore, it can be said that mass-media can play important role in overcoming the issue of gender inequality.
It should be mentioned here that, media has a significant and long lasting influence of the media in either challenging or perpetuating existing constructions of gender. We can’s deny the fact that more or less, media perpetuate unrealistic, stereotypical and limiting perceptions of the women. Many times, women are treated as consumers in the advertisement. Women have faced the marginalization in economic labor force. Most of the times, the media, especially television reinforces the conservative and pathetic role of women. Yet, mass media is considered as the important tool for gender sensitization. the role of mass media in removing gender stereotyping can be pointed out as the following:-
1. Media can promote a balanced gender representation in and through the news (print as well as electronic).
2. Media can play a great role in gender sensitization by providing the women reporters the opportunity to cover both female and male oriented news rather than assigning them to female oriented news.
3. Media should not always represent women in all the advertisement or serials through the television as traditional role of wife or as mother.
4. Media should give high priority to the subject of portraying women as equals as men in society, which can act as the tool in removing gender disparity.
5. Media should portray the women as independent character as modern, liberated women rather than consumers.
6. Media should represent the relationship between women and men in a gender sensitive way.
7. To challenge gender stereotyping, media should put emphasis on economic, social, educational partcipation and contribution made by women rather than representing them as inferior, subservient and unimportant.
8. Media can create public awareness and the rights and privileges of women by highlighting the constitutional and legal rights.
9. The media coverage of women should be increased so that women get more opportunities to present their opinion.
10. Media can help in generating the interest of women in acquiring knowledge sport, national and international politics and engaging them towards more effective participation of national affairs.
Media influence has increased to a large extent. Media can effectively shape public opinion, influence personal beliefs and it can also alter people’s self perception. It is the age of technology. In this modern technology oriented age, children are born into homes with television and viewing as infants. Mass media plays an important role in effecting, changing, moulding and shaping the life style and pattern of behaviour of people. Media is the power. They can play the most crucial role in redressing gender inequality from society.