UTV Podcast: Barbie movie opens 'important discussions' around gender equality

Barbie has broken numerous box office records, including becoming the first film to be directed by a woman to earn over $1billion.

In the latest episode of the UTV Podcast, journalist Tori Watson finds out how audiences have received the film on the big screen and she speaks to a gender-equality expert about its portrayal of gender roles.

Emma Rainey, who is originally from Belfast, is an advisor on diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies.

She also sits on the board of 50:50 NI - a group which encourages and supports women to get into politics in Northern Ireland.

"Barbie was created in 1959 and child's play around then for girls was centred around baby dolls and kitchens and it was basically training women to fulfil their gender expectations around motherhood and domestic life," Emma said.

"Then enters Barbie which welcomes this new way to be a woman that goes beyond these traditional expectations and I felt like a lot of women could connect with that."She added: "I always thought it was going to have feminist undertones because of who was behind the film...but I was not expecting it to be as overtly feminist.

"When it said the word feminism within the first few minutes of the movie my jaw actually physically dropped in the cinema.

"I think a lot of people even in my sector of gender equality were all really surprised."

Emma hopes that the film "exposes kids to gender inequality at a young age which is important" as if they see it then "they'll have conversations afterwards and some of the things they saw which are important discussions".

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