Robertson testified at the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) hearings on racism in the advertising industry.
Robertson said the advertising, film and other modes of communication still follow the notions of patriarchyin South Africa.
She said “Women are portrayed as domesticated in adverts, films and soapies. They are portrayed as sexual objects and we are weak”.
“In these adverts, you find that men are portrayed as strong. They can lift up anything, while the home and cleaning products are the women’s terrain.”
“For me, I look at a system. We are within a system of patriarchy. We are all products of that system of patriarchy, whether you are a man or woman. We are all products of the system of the past, of colonisation and apartheid — and the media is part of that. They are not separate from these systems. We are influenced by the same system so we respond accordingly.”
The five-day inquiry being held in Rosebank, Johannesburg, focuses on the production chain in the advertising sector to look at ways to eliminate racism, tribalism, homophobia and sexism, among other forms of discrimination.