September 19th, 2011
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“Commercialization of media leads to commodification of women”

P SainathThrissur: Commercialization of media contributes to commodification of women,” said P Sainath at a seminar organized by the All India democratic Women’s Association held at Thrissur.

” Women are objectified to sell products to audiences and to ensure audiences for advertisers. The media create a cult of youth and beauty. You, thus, come across a newspaper ridiculing Air India’s ageing air hostesses by calling them ‘aunties’. On International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women, the same newspaper features upper middle- class women, women business chiefs and models as part of its commercial agenda and ignores the real working women,” said Rural Affairs Editor, P Sainath.

Sainath spoke about the country’s inability to perceive the masked labour and contribution of women and their pitiful state where basic rights are still denied to them even in the 21st centuary. Women are denied power and authority over their own lives. Women are burdened by stringent domestic and financial responsibilities and suffer from unfair and biased inheritance and divorce laws which make it difficult for them to establish their own security and autonomy. Women do not enjoy their rightful status in society.

According to him, “Between 1995 and 2010, 2.5 lakh farmers in the country committed suicide. They included women. But they were not listed in the national-level data on farmers suicides because they did not own property or resources. Women account for 60 percent of the labour in farms, but they do not get their due. In many states, there is wage inequality between men and women farm workers. There are wage discrepancies even in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarentee Scheme.”

Lauding the achievement of Kudumbashree in Kerala he said,” In those 18 years, no other state has contributed to food security as Kudumbashree of Kerala did. But the achievements of Kudumbashree have not been told in the media outside Kerala.”




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