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Red Light to Gender Violence in Banks’ Advertising

Under a resolution adopted by the Board of the BCRA, financial institutions will refrain from making gender-based violence and discriminatory postings in advertising, digital and print media. They are also urged to avoid getting in any practice or taking any action that may be harmful to gender equality or may fuel discrimination when dealing with people, whether they are clients or not.

Now, financial institutions must avoid practices and actions that may reflect or promote “gender stereotyped and hierarchical views, androcentrism, sexist language, media and/or symbolic violence against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons”, both in advertising and in dealing with people.

The resolution expressly calls financial institutions to avoid “mansplaining; using the image of women as an object detached from the product intended to be marketed or else associated with stereotyped behaviors; and reproducing homophobic, lesbophobic and transphobic messages”.

It further applies to any natural person, even if they are not financial service users, and to the advertising of products and/or services, regardless of the medium involved.

Since the creation of the Promotion of Gender Policies, Respect and Appropriate Workplace Behavior Management Office, the BCRA has been promoting, developing and implementing policies to advocate for genders, diversity and equality within the BCRA and the financial system as a whole.

By regulating advertising and customer service, the BCRA takes affirmative action towards the eradication of sexism, discrimination, gender stereotyped and hierarchical views.

Some advertisements spread messages and images that, directly or indirectly, reproduce violence, hierarchy and segregation by reason of gender or sexuality.

Messages and images of this kind perpetuate gender stereotypes that involve symbolic forms of violence and reproduce domination, inequality and discrimination in social relations, naturalizing the subordination of women and LGBTIQ+ persons.

The BCRA’s resolution is driven by the evidence which shows that symbolic violence eventually legitimates and validates physical, psychological, sexual, political and economic violence against women and LGBTIQ+ persons. All in all, BCRA’s regulations are expected to deter financial institutions from posting sexist messages and stereotyped images.

November 12, 2020.

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