Home Institution

University of Virginia

Publication Date

Fall 2021

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


Although there has been a decrease in specific exclusionary rules in governments around the world, most nations are very far from a governing body which represents the diversity that exists within their borders. There are many issues which may dissuade previously marginalized populations from political participation. One of these problems when it comes to female participation, is differential political news coverage. This study looked at how media sources set the political agenda and frame news stories in terms of the gender of a politician, and how this can create an additional challenge for women in government. The investigation found that women are not only often excluded from conversations about topics like economics and military, but they are disproportionately asked about issues related to things like women’s rights, creating the narrative that this must be a policy priority. The study also found that politicians, such as Angela Merkel, face more scrutiny than male counterparts to make equality legislation a policy priority, disregarding all other aspects of her belief or policies. This highlights the need to separate arbitrary traits from the identities of politicians, in order to hold all government officials accountable to contribute to equal representation.


European Languages and Societies | Film and Media Studies | Gender and Sexuality | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Political History | Women's Studies


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