Women media representations delay reaching equity

Take the Pledge for Miss Representation

We’re so used to it we’ve almost stopped noticing it. But although women were making progress in politics for several decades, they are losing ground in a big way!

Only 9 out of 109 world leaders (including President, Chancellor, Queen) are women.

  • Women hold just 17% of seats in Congress
  • Women occupy 22% of state executive offices in the U.S. (Gov, Lt. Gov, Atty Gen. Secy State)
  • After the November 2011 election, the numbers of women in elected office dropped for first time in 40 years.
  • In 1994, 34 women filed to run for governor. In 2012, just four women have filed.

 Why are so few women entering politics?

A recent report by the Women’s Media Center has provided dismaying statistical data on the status of women in U.S. media. Only 24% of news stories in 2011 even reported on women. Although women’s inroads into nontraditional professions are real and exciting, they’re still few. Even in fields where women are increasing, they tend to be concentrated in “pink ghetto” subject areas.

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How Are Women Portrayed in the Media?

Throughout the nearly 9-minute-long trailer, images and news clips that exploit women’s physical appearance exposes how these messages portray violence against women, misogyny and gender inequity, and limit appreciation for intellectual women or women in leadership positions. Statistics in the trailer point out that women make up 51% of the U.S. population, yet only 17% of women hold positions in Congress.

The statement that resonates most is made by Marie Wilson, Founding President of The White House Project, an organization that seeks to get more women into elected office, who says, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”

The media is a powerful instrument of change and change can only occur once we are able to see the type of force this tool has cast on society. It’s up to us women to use the force of media to influence positive change and correct the representation of women.

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