Non-formal education plays a key role in the development of sexist culture. Apart from the main socialising agents, family and school, the media and advertising are increasingly powerful factors in the transmission of an outdated, stereotypical image of women.
New representations, sometimes equally discriminatory, co-exist with traditional sexist stereotypes of women. In order to ensure that masculine and feminine values and points of reference are no longer a limiting factor when establishing personal identity, it is essential that many of the behaviour traits, functions and roles that women undertake are recognised as valuable, as ways of freely interpreting gender differences and not as elements which can be used to justify inequalities between women and men.
Part of the Institute of Women's work is to promote equality between women and men in the media, acting in accord with the objectives set out in the Equality Plans and current legislation, which govern the content of media and advertising output in order to prevent conduct that favours inequality, and the use of damaging or discriminatory images of women. To do so, the Institute follows the guidelines established in international agreements such as the World Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995, the European Council's instructions that member states adapt their legislation, or the European Union's Equality between Women and Men Working Plan 2006-2010.
To this end, the action undertaken by the Institute of Women has been as follows: