25 Sep 2017

Male politicians get twice the airtime of their women counterparts in Austria

I believe that a country's government should be representative of its people. Last time, I checked, women and girls made up about 51% of the Austrian population. Not less than a third.

Julia Sahlender
Julia Sahlender Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Male politicians get twice the airtime of their women counterparts in Austria - NewsMavens

Why this story matters:

The Austrian Academy of Sciences recently published a study analyzing the amount of screen time for politicians on the evening news of the national public service broadcaster in Austria. Unsurprisingly, male politicians got more time and coverage than female politicians. 

While it was about as likely for both male and female politicians to be on the news at least once, male politicians appeared more often and got more time to speak. Female politicians got to speak only 15% of the time! The number of women in our parliament is already disappointingly low, and with this sort of disproportion, things are not likely to improve.

In 2002, 33.9% of the members of the Austrian parliament were women. 15 years later not much has changed. In fact, that number even slightly dropped to the current 31.15%.

I believe that a country's government should be somewhat representative of its people and last time I checked, women and girls made up about 51% of the Austrian population and not less than a third.

It angers me that very little is done to change the political landscape in that regard and that the few women who managed to get into politics aren't heard as much as their male counterparts.

The next election in Austria will take place on 15 October. Perhaps Austrian media could use this opportunity to practice a more even coverage.

Details from the story:

  • Analysis shows female politicians get less airtime than male politicians on national news in Austria. Research focused on the six-week period before different elections;
  • The Austrian political landscape is not as diverse as population;
  • In 2013, Austria ranked 46th worldwide in terms of female presence in parliament;
  • Currently, 57 out of 183 MPs are women;
  • Legislative elections will take place on 15 October;
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