GENDER AND ADVERTISING IN KENYAN PRINT NEWSPAPER: A STUDY OF THE DAILY NATION NEWSPAPER
Keywords:Dadvertising, femvertising, gender and advertising, stereotypes
Beyond promoting products and services, advertisements possess the capacity to influence perceptions, convictions, and attitudes. Advertisements possess the potential to reflect or shape societal norms, thus portraying various groups in manners that either empower or diminish them. This study thus sought to establish portrayal of females and males in Kenyan print newspapers. The study established that in Kenyan print newspaper advertising, gender roles are depicted in an empowering manner, effectively challenging established gender stereotypes. Through a case study and content analysis of a census of advertisements in the Nation Newspaper between January and April 2023.The study ascertained that the gender ratio in advertisements is nearly balanced, albeit slightly favoring males. Additionally, a notable underrepresentation of children and the elderly is evident within these advertisements, suggesting discriminatory tendencies. The advertisements embodied the phenomenon of femvertising, whereby females not only endorse food and household items, but also technology, insurance companies, and financial institutions as authoritative figures and consumers. In contrast, a larger proportion of males are depicted as product authorities. The concept of dadvertising emerges as males are portrayed nurturing their children's education within advertisements for insurance products. Traditional female roles are perpetuated through exclusive female representation in advertisements for food, clothing, and household products. While the prevalence of objectifying a female body is limited to a singular instance, this study recommends complete eradication of such objectification due to its violation of female dignity. It is further suggested to advertisers and newspaper editors that both genders should partake in the promotion of food and household products so as to actively challenge the prevailing gender stereotypes. A call is also made for an equitable representation of males, females in advertisements, to accurately mirror the authentic composition of society.