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Gender, The Media Under Examination


In November 2009, the world news media will come under scrutiny during the 4th Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP). Volunteers from women’s rights organisations, media associations and academia across the world will participate in a massive, one-day global effort to collect data on selected indicators of gender in their local news media.

IPS is supporting MMP efforts to look for volunteers who can take part in the monitoring, which results are applied as a tool for change towards gender equality in and through media.

The GMMP is a longitudinal news media research and advocacy project running since 1995 to achieve fair and balanced gender representation in and through the news media.

The media monitoring takes place this year in order to publish the results in time for key global processes scheduled for 2010, including the Beijing +15 review and the Millennium Development Goals Review Summit.

The GMMP network includes gender and communication groups, women’s media associations, women’s grassroots groups and researchers in academia who participated in the previous GMMPs of 1995, 2000 and 2005.

The most recent GMMP in 2005 found that women are more than twice as likely to be portrayed as victims than men in news stories. 86% of all ‘spokespeople’ in the news are men while women are featured as ‘experts’ only 17% of the time. Women make up more than half of the world’s population but are featured in only 21% of the world’s news headlines. News media are twice as likely to reinforce gender stereotypes than to challenge them.

How has gender representation and portrayal in and through the news media changed since 2005? Participate in GMMP 2009/2010 this November to find out.

The success of previous iterations of the GMMP owes largely to the commitment of hundreds of volunteers around the world to monitor their local radio, television and print news media.

The volunteers apply GMMP monitoring guides to code news stories appearing in each media during the set global media monitoring day. Numerous more volunteers are needed in every participating country. Volunteer as a monitor at

The links between GMMP and the work of the IPS programme on Gender and Giving Voice to Gender Equality are clear. The 2009 benchmark will be important to us, as it will be for so many media and gender activists and organizations.


Maria Cuellar's picture

Gender bias

Hi Marietta,

Thanks for informing us about the Global Media Monitoring Project. It sounds like a very interesting way to reveal the gender bias in the news around the world. I was shocked to hear, for example, that women were featured as experts only about 17% of the time.

Thanks for the connection. I'll take a look at it!

Warm regards,

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