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A Critical Evaluation of the Portrayal of Zimbabwean Women in Advertisements and its Impact on Shona Culture

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Advertising, Beauty, Identity, Unhu or Ubuntu, Gender
  • Mickson, Dr. Mazuruse
  • Tendero, Mrs. Musasa
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Creative Commons License:
Advertisements portray women in various ways worldwide, some of which are positive others are negative. It has been argued that advertising over the past decade has not presented a realistic view of women and their roles in society. Studies have shown that most of the advertisements portray women negatively and that the negative portrayal usually brings about untold sufferings on women. The purpose of this study is to examine the problems faced by women because of negative portrayal in advertisements and how this negative portrayal affects the Shona culture of Zimbabwe. Interviews were used to collect data from final year Shona Diploma in Education students at Mutare Teachers’ College. Interviews with lecturers at the college and document analysis on selected advertisements from both the electronic and print media were also used to collect data. The main findings were that women are negatively portrayed in advertisements resulting in women facing social, psychological and economical challenges. The study also reveal that the Shona culture is heading towards extinction as the young generation seems to look down upon it and appear to be ignorant of some of its values. The main recommendation made was that women should be taught to be proud of themselves and to value their culture so they do not lose their identity.

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