Different groups face different conditions in the public space. Sexist advertising, online hate speech and the invisibility of certain categories of people in the media risk silencing many voices. Nordic Information on Gender (NIKK) is releasing three promotional films focusing on Nordic cooperation regarding the public space.
Sexist advertising creates unrealistically narrow media images of women and men and the increasing sexualisation of the public space is restricting the range of role models that are available to girls and boys. Nevertheless, Nordic businesses can continue to engage in sexist marketing schemes practically without risking any legal consequences. Therefore, three Nordic organisations have decided to join forces and urge the public to act as a watchdog and report sexist advertising.
Online hate speech, consiting of threats, harassment and sexist remarks on the internet, may silence many voices and is another important issue in the public space. Female journalists are particularly vulnerable. This is a threat to the public debate and thus to the entire democratic system. For the first time ever, the Nordic national discrimination ombudsmen are currently working together in a fund project to end the online hate speech problem
A key task of the media is to reflect the diversity in society. However, research shows that there are great imbalances among the people who produce and distribute the news we consume. Today’s news media are dominated by men – including in the Nordic countries. the presence of women in the news media seems to actually be decreasing rather than increasing. This knowledge needs to be disseminated so that more newsrooms become aware of the imbalance and of who gets to speak their mind in the news.