Gender imbalance in General Election media coverage as women ‘marginalised’

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Women are featuring in just a fifth of national press coverage of the General Election campaign, according to research.

Academics at Loughborough University noted “gender inequality across all coverage” from November 7 to November 13.

The research found that when considering all participants in election news coverage – including citizens, business people, experts and public professionals – women’s voices accounted for just a third of all quotation in TV news and a fifth of quotation in the national press.

On television, women’s voices made up 32.9% of the share, while men had 67.1%.

In the press, women accounted for 18.1% while men accounted for 81.9%.

Overall, women featured in 21.4% of the coverage, while men were much more prominent on 78.6%, according to Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Communication & Culture.

The researchers said: “The data show that female actors are marginalised in cumulative terms in comparison with their male counterparts during the election campaign so far.”

This gap is despite women leading a number of political parties.

Alliance Party of NI leader Naomi Long Credit: /PA

Jo Swinson leads the Liberal Democrats and Nicola Sturgeon leads the SNP.

In Northern Ireland, the DUP is led by Arlene Foster, and Naomi Long is the leader of the Alliance Party.

Mary Lou McDonald is president of Sinn Fein, while Michelle O’Neill is vice president.

The data comes from the first in a series of weekly reports from the university on UK wide television and print media reporting of the 2019 UK General Election.