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Less Than One-Fourth of People Featured in the Media Are (Still) Women

Less Than One-Fourth of People Featured in the Media Are (Still) Women

Women appear in mainstream media just one-fourth of the time—a stat that hasn’t changed at all in half a decade.

Women make up just 24 percent of the people featured in the media, according to new research released Monday that analyzed newspaper, television and radio news 114 countries. That statistic is exactly the same as the last time the study was performed in 2010.

The five-year study, supported by the United Nations agency promoting women’s rights, should serve as “a wake-up call to media houses and newsrooms,” said U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.


There were only four categories out of 54 total in which women were featured more often than men: articles about female politicians; stories on reproductive rights; family relations; and a category that includes beauty contests, fashion, and cosmetic surgery.

Meanwhile, women appeared the least in stories about national defense, foreign policy, peace negotiations and economics.

Other studies have found similar results: men dominate “hard news,” including politics, science and crime coverage. And the problem runs all the way to the top, too. Between 2013 and 2014 at The New York Times, more than 67 percent of bylines belonged to men.

[Image via Getty]

Contact the author at melissa.cronin@gawker.com.


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