The Unstereotype Alliance has launched its Kenyan chapter, the second in Africa after South Africa, in a bid to eradicate harmful stereotypes from advertising and media in the country.
The Kenya chapter will focus on broadening the representation of women and men in traditional roles that perpetuate negative social norms and hinder progress of gender equality.
The Unstereotype Alliance is convened by the UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender and women’s empowerment.
In a report announcing the launch, UN Women point out that, in Kenya, harmful social norms contribute to increased acceptance of gender-based violence, lack of economic decision-making for women and constricted opportunities in the country’s job market.
With the aim of having a progressive representation and portrayal of all local entities in the media and advertising, the Kenya National Chapter seeks to counter the harmful patriarchal traditions and norms in the country by increasing the representation of empowered women in both private and public life,.
“I am so pleased that Kenya will become our first national chapter to launch in 2021, further growing the global footprint of the Unstereotype Alliance. I applaud our Kenya partners’ goal of broadening the representation of empowered women in public and private life, including business leadership, and invite all advertisers to challenge themselves to ensure that all their media and advertising portrayals are green, equitable, gender-responsive and inclusive,” said the UN Women executive director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
The national chapter is backed by a coalition of private sector organizations, who are some of the key players in the local advertising industry, including Safaricom, East African Breweries Limited, Unilever, Kantar and the State Bank of Mauritius.
The Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK), Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) are also supporting the chapter.
Expressing Safaricom’s commitment to eradicate harmful stereotypes in advertising, Sylvia Mulinge, the chief customer officer at Safaricom, had this to say:
“Safaricom is a sustainable, diverse and inclusive brand that represents the heart of Kenya. We support the Unstereotype Alliance as we strive to eradicate harmful stereotypes that hinder progress in all advertising in Kenya to ensure that no one is left behind.”