I met Sharda of Population First for the first time at a seminar discussing the portrayal of women in television. She read out a detailed paper on the recurrent stereotyping in serials. Ever since we have remained in contact and I have learned more about the activities of Population First which works towards gender sensitivity. When we chatted over coffee after the seminar she explained that the reason the media and the corporate are often insensitive to gender stereotyping because they are a part of the system via editorial, advertisements and sponsors attached to the publishing group.
She said institutional mechanisms are not available to build discourse between the media and the social sector on the subject and those few who make the effort are somehow relegated to a secondary position. To initiate the first step in the right direction Population First instituted the Laadli Media Awards in 2007 to promote gender sensitivity in media. It was the first of its kind in the globe and the goal was to highlights, acknowledges and reward writings on gender sensitive from all mediums.
It was not easy. The process involved appointing a jury and a yearlong advocacy initiative with senior editors, media leaders, journalists, and cultural icons that culminates to keep abreast with the changing world. The objective of The Laadli Media Awards is to showcase and applaud such efforts and they have been doing it for seven years.
I will be there at NCPA tomorrow to support their endeavor which is the need of the hour, will you?
Bhawana Somaaya/ www.bhawanasomaaya.com