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Conference 2012

Ending gender stereotyping and sexist portrayals in advertising

“Theoretical concepts of sexism, legal frameworks, practical approaches at local and European level”

On 28 November 2012, the FemCities network and the Brussels Liaison Office of the City of Vienna issued an invitation to discuss the topic of sexist advertising.

The topic of gender stereotyping and sexist portrayals in advertising is a women and human rights issue. Discrimination on any grounds whatsoever, be they sex, race, colour or sexuality, is against the law. Yet every day it can be observed in the media and in advertising. Several European Union directives, Council of Europe recommendations, UN conventions, as well as national laws condemn discrimination on the grounds of sex. Gender stereotyping, however, happens – also often without the intention of discriminating others – and often enough it goes unchallenged, even unnoticed.

The aim of the conference was to raise awareness, to openly discuss the issue and its implications for cities. Practices and strategies of cities and municipalities for challenging companies and the media were discussed. Fighting gender stereotypes and sexist advertising concerns more than just (a small group of) women, it is about upholding human rights and democratic values in society.