The Portrayal of Women in Ethiopian Television Advertisements

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Addis Ababa University


This study examined the portrayal of women in Ethiopian television advertisements and documented the various depictions associated with women as compared to men. Content analysis was chosen as a method of inquiry for this study. 140 advertisements were initially recorded, of which 94 advertisements were taken as a final sample (from the ETV Amharic language primetime evening programmes and Sunday ‘Meto-Haya’ entertainment programme). Each advertisement was initially coded for all character mix category and for primary character or figure - whether the primary figure was a male or a female. In addition, each primary figure in the advertisement was coded for the following categories: 1) Product type, 2) role, 3) setting, 4) basis for credibility, 5) voice-over announcer, and 6) sexual imagery or sex object. Using these dimensions, analysis was performed to determine how women are portrayed in the advertisements. The analysis of the data gathered revealed that portrayal of women in ETV advertisements is in many ways stereotyped and demeaning. The study found out that the stereotypes associated with women are widespread. Along with this, the study provided evidence of the existence of similar trend in many cases toward portraying women and men as different in their earmarked roles, positions and behaviors.



Ethiopian Television