Young women movement

Date: January 1, 1970
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This advert, sponsored by the Young Women Movement, features a headshot of a young woman looking off to the left, as if she is looking towards something hopeful. The text below highlights recent legislative gains for women in Zimbabwe and encourages female voters to vote for ‘the consolidation of women’s empowerment.’

The advertisement may be used to:
1)       Show women empowerment in political advertisements
2)       Discuss subtle gender bias in advertisements
3)       Discuss political campaign tactics – what is effective and what is not
Trainer’s notes
The advertisement was placed by the ‘Young Women Movement’. It cites various instruments and pieces of legislation that have been passed in order to empower women. These are now being used as a campaign gimmick during elections. The advertisement is informative in the sense that it gives people an idea of the developments made for women, however one must raise the question of how effective or relevant these developments have been for the majority of young women in the country. The advert argues that because these laws have been passed, great gains have been made for women. While that may be true in a legislative or constitutional sense, one must look at how those laws are being implemented to assess real change.
One can also argue that the advert is subtly gender biased. It focuses only on women, both in the images and language used, and as such implicitly states that men are not interested in women’s issues. However, one could also argue that there is nothing inherently wrong with specifically targeting women and encouraging them to vote, as women are often less likely to participate in politics for various social and cultural reasons.
Discussion Questions
1)       What message is being imparted by the picture of the woman on the advertisement?
2)       Do you think this ad is effective in encouraging women to vote?
3)       Why is the advertisement focusing on the achievements made for women and not for men? Is the advertisement gender biased? Is there anything inherently wrong with featuring only one sex or the other in adverts? Discuss why or why not.
4)       Identify instruments that are being referred to in the advertisement? Are they being utilised in Zimbabwe? Do people know about them?

Training Exercises

1)       Ask participants to write a story from what is depicted on the advertisement.
2)       Identify instances where the various instruments being referred to in the advert have been used. How were they used? Are they used well? Have they benefited women in a practical, tangible way? Find out what some of the on the ground barriers are that prevent women from properly accessing these laws, and what needs to be done to implement them more effectively.
3)       Write an opinion piece asking how the Young Women Movement will move forward on gender equality.

Download : zim ad

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