Comparing Gender and Media Equality Across the Globe

A Cross-National Study of the Qualities, Causes, and Consequences of Gender Equality in and through the News Media
Editor(s): Monika Djerf-Pierre, Maria Edström

The lack of women’s voices, status, and recognition in the news media is a challenge to both human rights and a sustainable future. Comparing Gender and Media Equality across the Globe addresses longstanding questions in the study of gender equality in media content and media organisations across countries and over time. Drawing on data from the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP), European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), and the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), this book offers new insights into the qualities, causes, and consequences of gender equality in and through the news media. The book contributes to the critical discussion on gender and journalism, showing that the news media do not reflect reality when it comes to the actual progress of gender equality in societies across the globe. The study aims to inspire future research by making existing data on gender and news media equality available to the global research community. The book presents the GEM-dataset, comprising hundreds of indicators on media and gender equality, and the GEM-Index, an easy to use measure to keep track of key aspects of gender equality in television, radio, newspapers, and online.

“A trailblazing collection of high-quality studies from leading researchers all around the world. This splendidly edited book meets the great need for a comparative analysis of gender equality in and through news media in different regions. It is unique, full of useful empirical evidence, new insights, and reflections. This should without a doubt be required reading for anyone dealing with this issue – not least from the perspective of Agenda 2030”.

– Professor Ulla Carlsson, UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Global Policy at the University of Gothenburg

The book thoroughly describes the construction of the GEM-Index in the second chapter. The Index is included in the freely available GEM dataset, published alongside the book.

Read more about the GEM dataset




Chapter 1. Introduction: Comparing gender and media equality across the globe: Understanding the qualities, causes, and consequences
Monika Djerf-Pierre & Maria Edström


Chapter 2. The GEM-Index: Constructing a unitary measure of gender equality in the news
Monika Djerf-Pierre & Maria Edström

Chapter 3. Media gender-equality regimes: Exploring media organisations’ policy adoption across nations
Claudia Padovani & Rossella Bozzon


Chapter 4. Explaining gender equality in news content: Modernisation and a gendered media field
Monika Djerf-Pierre

Chapter 5. Axes of power: Examining women’s access to leadership positions in the news media
Carolyn M. Byerly & Katherine A. McGraw

Chapter 6. The media world versus the real world of women and political representation: Questioning differences and struggling for answers
Karen Ross, Marloes Jansen, & Tobias Bürger


Chapter 7. Fairer sex or fairer system? Exploring the relationship between gender equality in the media and media corruption
Mathias A. Färdigh

Chapter 8. Gender in economic journalism: Impeccably accurate or smoke and mirrors?
Sarah Macharia

(PDF, 81 kB)