Namibian Businesswoman of the Year. Republikein


Date: January 1, 1970
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The image shows the five judges for the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year 2002.
The image shows the five judges for the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year 2002.

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  • Explores the subtle stereotypes present in the image used.

Trainer’s notes

This case study illustrates how women are portrayed in the media as objects of beauty, rather than as serious players in a sector.

The photograph shows the five judges for the Namibian Businesswoman of the Year 2002. The caption which accompanies the image only identifies the women by name and does not give their professional titles. And, the only source in the caption is a male editor of an economic newspaper.

A picture of the women judges and a male source could infer that the judges have been shown only for decorative purposes, since none of the  judges nor the women finalists are sourced in the deep caption that accompanies the image.

The caption acknowledges the proficiency of the women finalists in the workplace, who are not in the image, but not that of the judges who will decide on the winner.

Training exercises

Exercise one: Look at the case study and discuss the following:

  1. In the caption that accompanies the image, who speaks? Who does not speak?
     

  2. What information is missing in the caption about the women? What subtle message does this convey?
     

  3. How are the women portrayed in the photograph?
     

Exercise two: Scan the local media for other images of women in professional sectors.
  1. Identify and make a list of how professional women are portrayed in images in the media.
     

  2. Discuss how the portrayal of women in images can be changed. 

 


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