Panel discussion on “Gender representation in Indian Media” Organised by the Women Development Cell Workshop conducted on 29th Feb 2020

The Women Development Cell organised a Panel Discussion at the Madhoprasad Seminar Hall on 29th February 2020 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm to gain a distinguished perspective on Gender Representation at Deviprasad Goenka College of Media Studies. Students hailing from B.A, BMM and Masters of Communication and Journalism stream along with the faculties were a part of this.

The Panel included prominent members like Girija Gupte, a social activist for women’s issues in the marginalized sections of the society, Noorjehan Safia Niaz, a member of NGO Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Nausheen Yousuf Mandviwala, Advocate from Majlis, Pooja Nair, a member of Labia and a practicing counselor and Dr. Faiz Ullah, faculty at the media department at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

The panel discussion commenced with the members on the dais introducing themselves and their stand on Gender representation in brief. The topic was taken ahead by throwing light on stereotyping, gender behaviours, gender roles and how it affects the mentality of people in reel and real life. This nature brought by stereotyping to the audience by way of the media, sets certain notions relating to gender behaviours.

Advocate Nausheen in an exemplary way put forth the troubles and notions associated with women in the legal aspect. She especially focused on the way how media depicts only one side of stories and how it is because “Negative Sells” she urged the students to be responsible and show the positive side to the audience as the next generation of journalists. She concluded by saying that we need to apply the fact that ‘Law = Logic’. Noorjehan focused on the representation of religion as another major factor. The need to show how ‘Muslim’ a person is displeases a certain community. As a woman you ought to wear the hijab or the burqa or the man has to wear his skull cap or keep a beard in order to represent his/her “so called Muslimness”.

Further, Pooja spoke about how the depiction of queer people or the way people from this section are looked at, is truly in a marginalized way and how these couples struggle with their identity in the society. The elements portrayed by media about the LGBTQIA members are far from reality.

TISS Prof. Dr. Faiz Ullah, spoke about performativity of gender and how there are set ways engraved in the minds of people and so when it comes to role reversal, the ability to fathom that change becomes unfavourable. Women are consistently seen as objects and hence, the perspective towards them is shaped that way.

Altogether, the portrayal of gender in in fields such as labour and of segments such as tribal and other aspects were put forth by the all the panellists along with their personal experiences.

At the end of the panel discussion, few questions from the students were addressed and this short yet informative event expanded our horizons on Gender Representation.