Pink, glitter, “mummy juice” or “wine o’clock” time… alcohol selling strategies that can be patronizing and damaging to women have proliferated in recent years. The alcohol industry has shifted from using women to sell alcohol to men, to using feminine and feminist signals to sell alcohol to women.
Guest expert opinion columnist Caroline Kahiu examines how the alcohol industry is trying to convert African women to alcohol consumption – and which consequences that is having now and in the future.
Being told a product is “empowering” is not the same thing as actually being empowered.”Caroline Kahiu
The world is seeing a shift in the culture of women’s alcohol use – driven by targeted alcohol marketing. For example, the liquor market has been able to develop and market products that appeal to women’s tastes and lifestyle choices.
Unfortunately, as targeted alcohol marketing to women rise, more and more women become addicted to booze and are increasingly suffering from the ill effects of alcohol. The female body is affected differently by the ethanol in beer, wine, and liquor compared to the male body – for reasons that go beyond mere size. For instance, female bodies break down alcohol differently and that makes women more vulnerable to alcohol-related health risks.
There needs to be a policy change by governments to ban or comprehensively restrict alcohol advertising, sponsorship, and promotions to better protect women and girls from the alcohol industry push to turn them into alcohol users.