Key Activities: Research on Gender Stereotypes and Influence of Media | Research on Design Methodologies such as Frame Innovation, Systems Oriented Design and Transition Design | Research Aligning Stakeholders in the Public Sector

A design framework for leveraging

the influence of media to challenge gender

stereotype through systemic coordination 

Duration                        Partner Organisations                   Team                          

2 months                        UN Women, WDO                           12 members               

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UN Women in Asia and the Pacific and World Design Organisation (WDO)® have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work together to identify design solutions to support the prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG). The collaboration between the two organisations aims to address this violence through the lens of design to identify human-centric, solution-based initiatives that will contribute to achieving multiple development outcomes including better health, education, civic participation and gender equality.

A team of designers, researchers, professionals and subject matter experts from various fields across 29 countries was put together to work on 6 different challenges in August 2020. I was selected to be part of the "leveraging media" team

UN Women strongly believe in the transformative role media can play in achieving gender equality in societies. Guided by the WHO team, we kicked off the design challenge. 

UN Women x World Design Organisation

Ongoing Research Exploration 

  1. Further research exploration on -

    • how to align stakeholders in the public sector - Although the framework is a starting point and helps the Country Office understand existing activities, research etc, it does not yet give an insight into how might the country office support aligning stakeholders and coordinating their efforts. 

    • how to layer instead of filter insights to make sense of complexity and support decision making - One of the critical questions that I have been exploring is how to layer insights instead of filter them. Each of the steps in the framework generates valuable insight. These insights need to be consolidated and made sense of together to help with the next steps and decision-making. Hence, I have been exploring data synthesis beyond typical design synthesis methods. 

Outcomes

How might we design to reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG) by leveraging the influence of media to challenge stereotypes?

After realising the vastness of existing efforts, we reframed the brief to design how UN Women Country offices can act as an integrator and coordinator that mobilises resources, organisations and activities to ensure systemic coordination and acceleration of development impacts related to media and gender

Initial Brief

  1. The first draft of a framework, principles and mindsets that various UN Women Country Offices can adapt to systemically coordinate efforts to increase development impacts. 

  2. Further research exploration on -

    • how to align stakeholders in the public sector

    • how to layer instead of filter insights to make sense of complexity and support decision making

A Design Framework - An initial idea that needs to be developed in the third phase

The framework provides a starting point to guide UN Women Country Offices in understanding existing efforts, outcomes, context, impacts and resources. Our research pointed us towards designing for understanding and learning from existing efforts and aligning the diverse groups who are doing media-related prevention of VAWG work as a critical first step.

The framework is an amalgamation of Design, Strategic Management and Systems thinking tools and mindsets. It is not a step-by-step guide but rather a guideline of mindsets that are required to tackle a complex problem. It needs to be tested thoroughly and iterated during the 3rd phase of the program which will be in 2022. 

One of the steps in the framework is to understand the available tangible and intangible capabilities and resources. 

We designed rough templates like these to be contextualised for every step of the process. Since this is the first draft, we are yet to finalise all the other templates. 

Preliminary Insights

1. Since there are existing efforts, research and initiatives by various people and organisations, how do we leverage, learn, accelerate and increase the impact of these? How do we ensure coordination and adequate use of resources? 

2. What role should UN Women Country Offices play in making this happen? How can UN Women as an organisation enable point 1?

How can UN Women Country Offices act as an integrator and coordinator that mobilises resources, organisations and activities to ensure systemic coordination and acceleration of development impacts related to media and gender?  

Research shows that from a young age, children are influenced by the gendered stereotypes that media present to them. Women are frequently portrayed in stereotypical and hyper-sexualised roles in advertising and the film industry, which has long-term social consequences. And 73% of the management jobs are occupied by men compared to 27% occupied by women.

© 2022 designed and developed by Aishwarya Jare 

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