Key Activities: Research on Gender-Based Violence and Influence of Media | Research on Design Methodologies such as Frame Innovation, Systems Oriented Design, Transition Design and Strategic Design for the Design the Final Outcome

A Strategic Design Framework for Leveraging the Influence of Media

to Reduce VAWC for UN Women CO

Duration                        Partner Organisations                   Team                          

2 years                           UN Women, WDO                           12 members               

Media today, from traditional legacy media to online media, still hugely influence our perceptions and ideas about the role of girls and women in society. What we have unfortunately seen until now is that media tend to perpetuate gender inequality. 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.

UN Women strongly believe in the transformative role media can play in achieving gender equality in societies. By creating gender-sensitive and gender-transformative content and breaking gender stereotypes. By challenging traditional social and cultural norms and attitudes regarding gender perceptions both in content and in the media houses. By showing women in leadership roles and as experts on a diversity of topics on a daily basis, not as an exception.

WDO x UN Women

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UN Women in Asia and the Pacific and World Design Organization (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 organizations 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

In March 2021, we began the second phase of the challenge where we will finalise our responses and work towards implementation of those.

How might we leverage the influence of media (broadcast, movies, internet) to challenge

gender stereotypes in Bangladesh?



Click here to view

the initial research


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Reflect the Change Alliance

Reflect the Change Alliance brings together, trains, and encourages media professionals and students to create gender-sensitive content. Why? Based on all the research we had done in Phase 1, we believed that the best approach to affect change on a massive scale was to start at the top—with the organisations that use media to knowingly and unknowingly perpetuate harmful beliefs that encourage gender stereotypes. We know that the implementation of this alliance is a a huge undertaking and will require a lot of work, planning and research. Ultimately, the alliance should become the go-to platform that brings together data partners, media organisations, and individuals to harness the power of media and create gender-sensitive content on a massive scale. The following are the objectives of the alliance - 



Bring together organisations & individuals to make gender-sensitive media the norm.


Create to empower

- Workshops and training courses for students, journalists, content creators (scriptwriters, producers, directors)

- Participatory filmmaking to enable women and men to tell their stories through direct collaboration between survivors and professional filmmakers.

- Create space for non-women to submit stories, narratives, ideas for funding/collaboration


Be data driven 

- Research into all aspects of women and the media so as to define areas needing attention

- Action review of existing media policies with a view to integrating a gender perspective

My role and what we are currently upto

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I've always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar...

The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Feel free to reach out for a collaboration or a conversation!

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