The representation of gender-based violence in the media, public campaigns and on social networks is addressed by experts at UIC Barcelona

The round table discussion was organised by the Equality Unit and the Faculty of Communication Sciences

On 10 December, UIC Barcelona hosted the round table "Gender-based violence and its reflection in society" organised jointly by the Equality Unit of the Vice Rectorate for the University Community and the Faculty of Communication Sciences. During the online session, communication experts analysed issues related to the representation of gender-based violence in the media, public campaigns and on social networks. The session was led by Consuelo León, head of the Equality Unit and director of the Observatory on Family Policies at UIC Barcelona.

Elisa Regadera, vice dean of the UIC Barcelona Faculty of Communication Sciences, spoke about “Awareness campaigns in Spain about gender-based violence during COVID 19”. She analysed the campaigns launched by public administrations since the beginning of the pandemic and highlighted the absence of real images of violence, as opposed to the first public campaigns in Spain to combat this devastating issue.

Rebeca Pardo also spoke at the conference, as vice dean for Research at the Faculty of Communication Sciences. Her presentation, “The portrayal of gender-based violence in photojournalism”, provided an historical overview of the very few photojournalistic reports that have explored violence since the 1980s, and reflected on ethical issues linked to the publication of authentic images of victims.

This was followed by María Ángeles Cabrera’s presentation. The lecturer in journalism from the University of Málaga spoke about the videogame "Diana in front of the mirror", which was created jointly by the Department of Equality of Malaga City Council and the Strategic Chair for Interactivity and Experience Design, which she herself manages. This project involved real actors and was designed as a role-playing game with a didactic and preventive aim, using 360º virtual recreation technology and kinematics.

To close the session, Dr Marisa Vázquez Martínez, lecturer in social psychology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, spoke about “Gender-based violence in Spanish adolescents. A research-based approach”. She drew on data from the macro survey on gender-based violence carried out by the Ministry of Equality one year ago, which showed how more than 19% of women under 25 admit to having suffered some form of physical or sexual violence from a current or former partner. Dr Vázquez Martínez insisted on the need to question, from both a professional and educational standpoint, why adolescents who have participated in training programmes on gender-based violence end up reproducing and developing violent behaviour.