EWL press coverage

Fresh calls for an end to media sexism

The prevalence of sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women today, according to the European Women’s Lobby (EWL)
A toxic media environment can often negatively impact upon the campaigns of women candidates and allow damaging comments to exist unchecked.

So the EWL is renewing its support for Name It. Change It., a non-partisan project of the WCF Foundation, Women’s Media Center, and Political Parity which aims to end sexist and misogynistic coverage of women candidates by all members of the press—from bloggers to radio hosts to television pundits.

The project calls for an end to the pervasiveness of sexism against all women candidates ”irrespective of political party or level of office” across all media platforms in order to facilitate greater equality for women to obtain roles in public office.

Gloria Steinem, Co-Founder of the Women’s Media Center said at the launch of Name It. Change It in August 2010 that the issue of reversibility was important for journalists and media pundits to bear in mind;

“The most workable definition of equality for journalists is reversibility.

“Don’t mention her young children unless you would also mention his, or describe her clothes unless you would describe his, or say she’s shrill or attractive unless the same adjectives would be applied to a man.

“Don’t say she’s had facial surgery unless you say he dyes his hair or has hair plugs. Don’t say she’s just out of graduate school but he’s a rising star.

“Don’t say she has no professional training but he worked his way up. Don’t ask her if she’s running as a women’s candidate unless you ask him if he’s running as a men’s candidate; ask both about the gender gap, the women’s vote.

“By extension, don’t say someone is a Muslim unless you also identify Christians and Jews, or identify only some people by race, ethnicity or sexuality and not others.

“However, this does NOT mean being even-handedly positive or negative when only one person or side has done something positive or negative. Equality allows accuracy.”

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