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November 20, 2014 / C H Thompson

Women Politicians and the Media

  • The media have a crucial and increasing role in shaping the image of politicians by acting as mirrors of genderidea1 stereotypes
  • Media personnel at all levels, from editor to reporter, from publisher to columnist, need to be made aware of the fact that “stories” that sell or pretend to do so often perpetuate gender patterns which are adverse to the strengthening of democracy.
  • In a world in which financing is crucial in politics, good media coverage compensates for a lack of financial resources.
  • Women politicians have to understand the media better and learn how to get their message across through training on how to conduct media interviews and press conferences, make presentations, prepare press kits and communiqués, etc..
  • Women have to be more assertive in presenting their ideas and achievements as in fact, irrespective of sex, the media tend to come to people who stand tall and believe in their cause.
  • The media tend to treat women politicians as women and objects rather than as political protagonists, something they rarely do for male politicians.
  • Women politicians are not covered by the media as much as men politicians. Reporters should, when covering stories, ensure that they not interview male politicians only.
  • The media are less open to the concerns and achievements of women politicians than to those of their male counterparts.
  • If they understand that the integration of women into politics strengthens democracy, the media, which have a crucial and increasing role in the democratic process, should try to convey this message in all possible ways.
  • Governments should restructure their communications policy so as to make them more gender sensitive and also to promote a fairer image of women politicians.

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