Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, this report, commissioned by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, examines women’s representation in COVID-19 newsgathering and news coverage in India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. The report uncovers a substantial bias towards men’s perspectives in both newsgathering and news coverage of the pandemic, spanning across all regions. This bias operates against a backdrop of women’s political underrepresentation in the COVID-19 response in these countries, as well as the unique socioeconomic, health and psychological challenges that women face globally.
The absence of women’s perspectives in COVID-19-related news coverage means that women have limited influence over the framing of the crisis in the news and consequently, limited influence over policy decisions. As a result, women are at ever-greater risk of being further marginalized amid the most significant global health crisis of our lifetimes.
“The Missing Perspectives of Women in COVID-19 News: A special report on women’s under-representation in news media” was commissioned by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and authored by Luba Kassova, director of international audience strategy consultancy AKAS Ltd.