Media4Women 2021: gender monitoring by the media

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Young woman reporting in Tunisia

Only 24 percent of people featured in newspapers, television and radio news are women*. Data shows there is still great inequality between women and men in the media worldwide. On March 1st, Free Press Unlimited launched Media4Women (M4W) together with partners all over the world. The two-week global campaign highlights the importance of gender equality in and through the media. This year the campaign focused on data monitoring by the media.

Why Media4Women?

Worldwide, gender inequality is perpetuated by the under-representation and misrepresentation of women in the media. Women are far less visible on television, radio, online and in newspapers than men, with fewer of their stories told. As soon as journalists are looking for an expert opinion, women drop out of the picture.

During the campaign (media) organisations and people from all over the world take action and show solidarity with women in the media. Women deserve equal rights and opportunities, and we have the power and responsibility to the present and future generations to work towards equal representation of women in and by the media!

Why data monitoring?

During this fifth edition of the Media4Women campaign focused on gender monitoring as an essential tool to get reliable data and improve the position of women in and by the media. Data monitoring reveals where things go wrong. Media needs to take this data into account in order to produce more gender-inclusive and diverse content. Data increases awareness on the existing issues, and therefore helps to move towards a better position of women in and by the media.

Larissa Buschmann, Programme Coordinator Gender & Media at Free Press Unlimited, on the importance of data monitoring: “Monitoring the content of media on gender representation and portrayal is a crucial first step to address the visibility of all women in media and gender equality in society.”

What does the data say?

Since 1995, when the representation of women in the news started to be monitored by the Global Media Monitoring Project, the statistics have barely changed for the better. The latest figures* still leave an unacceptable picture:

  • Only 24 percent of people featured in newspapers, television and radio news are women;
  • 81% percent of experts interviewed are male;
  • Only 37% of stories in newspapers, television and radio newscasts are reported by women, this statistic has shown no change over the course of a decade.

*Report Global Media Monitoring Project 2015. The results of 2020 will be available in May 2021.


For an overview of the actions during the campaign see this infographic:

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Subject:
Media4Women, 
Gender equality