Catalysts for change: breaking down gender stereotypes in media and advertising

Side-Event co-organised by the Council of Europe and Liechtenstein’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, during the Liechtenstein Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers

Monday, 11 March 2024, 4:45 PM- 6:00 PM EST, (9:45-11:00 PM, CET)

ECOSOC chamber -  General Assembly Building, United Nations, New York

 Watch the recording of the event


The media and advertising wield immense potential for social change. They are more than mirrors of society or neutral communication environments – they actively shape opinions, attitudes, perceptions and ideas. As technology advances, media play an even bigger role in people’s everyday lives. They can reinforce existing gender inequalities by perpetuating gender stereotypes and attitudes and can even exacerbate gender-based violence. But they can also play a part in hastening structural change towards gender equality.

Men have a major role to play for this change to happen as the vast majority of media and advertising companies, globally, are still led by men. Despite a substantial increase in the number of women in the media professions, notwithstanding new legislative and regulatory frameworks, gender inequalities and stereotyped portrayals of women and men in media content remain widespread. 

The event will look at promising practices, initiatives and concrete measures in the public and private sectors, highlighting their benefits for all, in line with the Council of Europe 2023 Guidelines on men and boys in gender equality policies. Bringing together political leaders, international partners, private sector and civil society representatives, including male role models, the side-event will foster an understanding of concrete actions to ensure that media play a transformative role in breaking down gender stereotypes and in promoting gender equality.