Researchgood practice, inequality, media, violence

She persisted. Women, politics and power in the new media world

Publication date: 12/2019
Authors: Lucina Di Meco


Understanding the role traditional and, increasingly, social media outlets are playing in the promotion of more gender-inclusive and participatory democracies and what we can all do to speed up progress is urgent, and critical. This study aims at doing just that and has four key takeaways: an artificial intelligence powered analysis of the 2020 US primaries shows that female candidates are attacked more often than male candidates by trolls/fake news accounts/bots and there is anecdotal evidence the same is happening in India, Ukraine and Italy; despite a highly toxic social media environment, female candidates globally have been at times able to use both Twitter and Facebook to support their political ambitions, by leveraging their support networks online and offline; globally and on average, women are still less visible than men on traditional media and the nature of the coverage they receive is often biased or plainly sexist, representing a serious disincentive for women to consider a political career;  there are actionable steps and evidence-based solutions and innovations that can speed up progress towards gender equality in government, by ensuring that traditional and social media are fairer arenas of political engagement - and everyone has a role to play in implementing them. Eighty-eight women from thirty countries are represented in the study.

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