Romania. Gender and ICTs: An Untold Story
Global Information Society Watch 2013 – Women's rights, gender and ICTs, pp. 200-203.
4 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 25, 2013
“Give a woman a CD-ROM and she will use it as a mirror”: this offensive statement epitomises Romanian media discourses on women in general, and in relation to technology in particular. Either as elitist contempt or sexist humour, gender stereotyping is omnipresent in the Romanian public space. Critical reflection on gender equality remains hidden in the ivory tower of academic discourses and the backstage of civil society initiatives. Mihaela Miroiu, a prominent Romanian feminist scholar, explains: “While men are portrayed on the first pages of media outlets, women are only on the last pages; while men sell head – competence and performance, women sell full body – sexual services, and hands – care services. The best way for a woman to be uninteresting in the Romanian mediascape is to be either a professional, or a student.” At the same time, a new tone in the public discourse is conveyed by businesses targeted at urban professional women: glossy magazines and cosmetic companies’ websites portray successful, connected female entrepreneurs. However, even the new wave of media discourse is loaded with gender stereotypes: “digital divas” must be young and attractive. This report focuses on the ways in which online media from Romania portrays women in relation to information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Keywords: Gender, ICTs, online discourses, Romania
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