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Largest number of women experts present in Lutsk mass media, smallest in Zaporizhzhia, IMI research shows

03.02.2016, 02:12

Only one in every three experts commenting materials in regional printed and online media outlets is a woman. This was found in the course of research IMI conducted in 44 media outlets in ten oblasts of Ukraine during December 2015.

The situation was the best in Lutsk and Kharkiv media outlets — in them, women comment 31% and 30% of materials, correspondingly, and the situation was the worst — in Zaporizhzhia (16%), Chernivtsi (17%), and Poltava (17%) printed and online media outlets.

In regard to national printed and online media outlets, the level of engagement of women experts has not changed compared to September 2015, and constituted 26% women experts to 74% men experts in printed press, and 20% women experts to 80% men experts in online media outlets.

At that, women comment predominantly on secondary topics like fashion, health, raising children, sometimes education, or are presented in materials as victims of crime or they share their tearful love stories. Both make and female journalists rarely, if ever, engage women experts on political science, economics or other «important» issues. Seldom, women commented the situation in the sphere of the housing and utilities infrastructure, and local female councilors and officials commented on political events.

In general, during the monitoring period, in ten oblasts of Ukraine women experts were mentioned 471 times, compared to 1,492 mentions of men experts (that is, women were engaged as experts 3.1 times fewer than men).

It should be pointed out that compared to 2014, the situation with women experts improved, as in 2014, according to IMI monitoring, women were engaged as experts only one time out of five.

At the same time, in December national mass media started to write more about women as central characters in their materials (29% in December 2015 compared to 16% in September 2015). IMI experts believe this to be related to reducing numbers of materials about the ATO in December and growing number of materials on social and entertainment topics (before the New Year).

As to women as characters in materials of regional mass media, according to IMI, at the center of the story there is one woman to every three men. The largest share — 33% — of women-centered materials was found in Zaporizhzhia media outlets, and the smallest — in Odesa and Lutsk, only 13% and 15%, correspondingly. Most often, women are the center of stories on culture, social issues, sports, crime (as victims), as well as about charity and education. Local female politicians, councilors and officials were at the center of the stories significantly more seldom.

All in all, during the regional monitoring, men experts were quoted 1,492 times and women experts, 471 times, and at the center of the story, men were 4,357 times and women were 1,359 times.

For the reference:

The monitoring of the gender balance in regional and national printed and online media outlets was conducted by NGO «Institute of Mass Information» with the financial support of MATRA program under the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine. 

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