Advertisement and Women in India: A Shift in the Role of Women Representation, Empowerment and Responsibilities

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Sohaib Alam, Sadaf Khalid


Evolutionary changes could be imagined in contemporary Indian scenarios to address the conflicting role of advertisement in shaping an 'empowered women identity' that contravenes misogynist 'Hindutva' political intent. Numerous studies suggest that propagandism or manipulation through advertising exploits the natural sense of human existence, overpowered by prejudices, stereotyping, and defeating one's actual self. The study intends to have a qualitative understanding of inevitable gender disparity, stereotyping gender roles, and redefining the essence of empowerment. The study highlights the functionality of proposed reasons provided as 'emphasized femininity' (Patterson et al., 2009), ever-increasing unnatural male-based population, extended stereotype (Brule, 2020) and so on has encompassed multiple levels of gender role biases/inequalities in advertisements.

Moreover, the objective is to debate the reformed contemporary advertising variations and changing patterns of women participation, not necessarily quantifying the number but by focusing on the quality of their projection on television and online platforms. Earlier, it represented women more in household and fewer roles in corporate or entrepreneurial mind-sets; more meant for sexual desires and less about their choice of living. The study reproduces females' qualitative analysis and symbolic representation by randomly selecting several popular and prominent brand ads in the post-liberalized era. Though the strategic shift towards empowerment is relatively more minor in number, it partially promoted the value of women's engagements and ethnic diversity. Furthermore, the conclusion would uncover the transformation process from the portrayal of women subjugation into women empowerment contents in advertisements as it directly impacts their socio-economic inclusivity.


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