UN Women SDG5 Summit at Expo 2020


Students in the Master of Arts in Communication presented their communication campaigns addressing gender stereotyping in advertising and the workplace at the UN Women SDG5 Summit at Expo 2020 to mark International Women’s Day, 2022, on Wednesday March 09. The graduate student teams had created two campaigns for the UN Women Unstereotype Alliance UAE chapter in Dr Ganga Dhanesh’s class SPC 612, Strategic Public Relations in Spring 2022.
“What are Women Made of?” highlighted how the current generation of women cannot relate to gender representations in advertising – neither to stereotypical depictions as home makers, nor to aspirational representations as ministers and astronauts. They want to see more of themselves -- everyday sheroes, balancing home and work, pursuing their passions and ambitions while managing traditional roles and expectations. Students Dalal S S Alhaddad, Mouzah Ghazwan Habrah, Asma Naser Hamoud Naser Alsaeedi, AlShaima Rashed Saleh Mohamed Alsaabri, and Durrah Mohamed Hamed Saeed Alarimi put together the campaign while Mouzah Habrah presented it at the event.
“Be Proud, Be You” showcased the need to create inclusive and enabling organizational cultures where diverse leadership styles can thrive, where being feminine is not denigrated or othered, but celebrated. The campaign is targeted at women managers and leaders. It tells them that a woman might have a different leadership style from a man, but that it is all right – Be proud, Be You. Students Mariam Hamed Mohamed Butti Al-Hamed, Hanouf Feras Aljijakli, Shaikha Salem Mohammed Obaid Aldarmaki, Aysha Mohammed Mubarak Najem Aljneibi, and Maryam Eissa Abdulkareem Mohammed AlSaeedi created the campaign and Hanouf Aljijakli presented it at Expo.
The campaigns were informed by research on gender stereotyping in the GCC and the UAE conducted by Zayed University faculty members Ganga Dhanesh, Ali Khalil, Gaelle Duthler, and Claire Sherman. Professor Dhanesh had shared the research with her class and asked the students to choose an issue that resonated well with them. Dhanesh shared that she was surprised to hear about nuances in gender representation that students found problematic and could not relate to. Students were also passionate about calling for inclusive organizational cultures where women can be women without having to twist themselves into predominantly masculine conceptualizations of leadership. The campaign videos were reviewed by faculty members Fokiya Akhtar and Timothy Wilkerson.
The event was attended by Dean Dwight Brooks, immediate past dean Pamela Creedon, Acting Dean of Graduate Studies, Gaelle Duthler, CCMS faculty members Inka Stever and Hilke Steenkamp, graduate students Dalal S S Alhaddad, Mariam Hamed Mohamed Butti Al-Hamed, Aysha Mohammed Mubarak Najem Aljneibi, Hanouf Feras Aljijakli, and Mouzah Ghazwan Habrah.
In the day-long summit, high level officials shed light on SDG5 implementation, focusing on the role of the private sector in overcoming barriers and advancing opportunities for women’s economic empowerment. SDG5 refers to Sustainable Development Goal #5, which aims to achieve gender equity. Zayed University is an official ally of the UN Women Unstereotype Alliance UAE chapter.
The video of the event can be accessed here. The ZU session starts at 6.34.55.