Advertising shapes and reinforces gendered ideas about what it means to be a woman or man and how women and men are valued in our society.
Advertising frequently exploits and reinforces harmful gender norms and sexualised depictions of women. These depictions have negative impacts on women’s health and wellbeing, contribute to attitudes that drive violence against women and perpetuate gender inequality in our society.
But advertising can also positively transform gender norms and to support and normalise gender equality. For many years, community groups, academics and industry activists – including Women’s Health Victoria – have been raising awareness about stereotyping and sexualisation in advertising and advocating for change.
In an Australian first, Women’s Health Victoria has been funded by the Victorian Government to engage the advertising industry, brands, regulators and community members to deliver a project to address sexism in advertising.
Since 2018, we have built the evidence base and the business case for change and engaged with key stakeholders from the ad industry and beyond.
In 2020, we are launching shEqual, a movement for advertising equality.
To deliver shEqual, we are collaborating with strategic partners - Respect Victoria, Our Watch, City of Melbourne, RMIT University, Venus Comms, and The Shannon Company. Industry partners include - Clemenger Group, OMD Australia and Marmalade.
shEqual is an Australian movement to use the power of advertising for good
Seeing is Believing
Our national framework for championing gender equality in advertising sets out a blueprint for long-term change
Impacts on Women's Health
Our research shows sexualised and stereotyped ads harm women’s health and reinforce the attitudes that cause violence against women.
Community members think sexist ads are harmful and want greater regulation, according to WHV’s research with RMIT.
How can we address sexist advertising? This report shows industry, government and consumers all have a role.
Mural, media, and events
Our work to improve images of women in public space and to stop sexist advertising.