National broadcaster Doordarshan has produced guidelines for gender-sensitive programming, in the hope of avoiding gender stereotypes and challenging inequality in India.
“As a responsible public service broadcaster, Doordarshan has primed guidelines for gender-sensitive programming. These guidelines establish principles to challenge gender stereotypes and inequity in society. A checklist with do’s and don’ts is included to help programmers translate the principles into action. These guidelines are a pioneering step towards constructing a gender equitable society,” said Supriya Sahu (pictured), director general, Doordarshan.
The public broadcaster will review programmes, conduct workshops and undertake annual studies to understand the effectiveness and implications of gender-sensitive programming.
Doordarshan’s guidelines provide ideas and direction for content planners and producers on how to use their programmes to promote gender equality and encourage change rather than perpetuate gender stereotypes.
The guidelines also recommend broadcast of gender transformative ideas through formats like promos, spots, quickies, jingles, and programme bumpers.
They restrict channels, for example, from showing a professional female character who is generally seen crying and being involved in domestic dramas or conspiracies; or portraying women as damsels in distress and with men as their protectors.
The move also seeks to increase the participation and involvement of both sexes in broadcasting, as producers or decision makers in the industry.
The guidelines has been drafted around the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act 1986 and the Program and Advertising Codes prescribed under The Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 (Rule 6 and Rule 7) and Article 15 of the Indian constitution which provides prohibition of discrimination on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.―Sat Supreme