The International Humanitarian Studies Association is a network engaged with the study of humanitarian crises caused by natural disaster, conflict or political instability.

Women's Voice in Humanitarian Media. No surprises.

Submitted by Jo-Hannah Lavey
For panel Humanitarianism and Media

Gender parity does not exist for women's voice in the media. Neither does it exist in humanitarian media. It is important to address inequalities in humanitarian action and how people perceive the role of women, including by women themselves. Media has an important role to play in advancing gender parity in the workplace because it has the power to shape individual behaviour and has a significant influence on how people perceive women as leaders. Gender equality of experts in media matters because it sends a symbolic message about who has the credibility to be an expert and can provide access to power. The experts quotes are provided authority and the means to frame policies, debate and decisions. In many cases, media not only reflects inequalities between men and women, but also amplifies and entrenches them. This paper analyses articles from a mainstream news media outlet and a specialised humanitarian news media outlet over a 4 week period to provide an indicative snapshot of humanitarian media demonstrating women are underrepresented in terms of voice reflecting broader media analysis--just 23% of women were quoted as sources in humanitarian media.