In the past month no less than three gender-related stories have hit the national headlines. Jodie Whittaker was announced as the first ever female Dr Who, the BBC revealed its huge gender pay gap and it was refreshing to see the Advertising Standards Association (ASA) announce that it is working on tougher standards for what it called harmful gender stereotypes in advertisements.
The ASA’s stance hasn’t come a moment too soon. The issue has been bubbling under the surface since Procter & Gamble’s #unstereotyping speech at last year’s Cannes Lions festival, where the brand pledged to end gender stereotyping across its brand advertising. While this was welcomed wholeheartedly, it’s a touch ironic since P&G has done so much to promote stereotypes in its Fairy Liquid commercials, which still featured a woman washing up as late as the Noughties! Only in the 2015 version did it first show a man doing the dishes. But let’s give credit where it’s due.