Thematic area: Media sector

Research reveals gender inequalities in the media sector comprised of radio, television, offline and online newspapers, as well as film and advertising. In the news industry, the inequality patterns are repeated across nations, with some variations. Researchers document a male bias in ownership, leadership and managerial positions. Discrimination against women persists in hiring, promotions and job tenure in media organisations across most countries. Women in media careers contend with an environment of normalised gender-based harassment and violence in the physical and digital workplace.

This page hosts policy texts, research reports and tools to address gender inequalities in the industry.

GMR study – full (English, 2022)

The study shows that a preferred method to promote gender equality in media would be to establish proper and efficient self or co-regulatory mechanisms, which can be promoted through appropriate media policies and legislation. The study also gives general and detailed recommendations on how to achieve better gender equality and safety for journalists.

Comparing gender and media equality across the globe (English, 2020)

The aim of the Comparing Gender and Media Equality Across the Globe project – and of this book – is to examine the qualities, causes, and consequences of gender equality in and through the news media by employing a cross-national, comparative methodology.

Money. Power. Stereotypes. Does gender equality in the media really matter? International comparative gender study in Georgia, Moldova and Russia (English, 2018)

The comparative study, carried out in Georgia, Moldova and Russia in 2018, aimed to distinguish common and specific aspects of gender-related issues identified with employment in the media industry of the three countries, as well as to determine the nature of the differences. The study made it possible to reach a number of conclusions regarding the situation in mass media in Georgia, Moldova and Russia, and to identify the factors that determine the main differences related to the employment of mass media employees, their salaries, opportunities of career growth and professional self-fulfillment, work mobility etc.

Myanmar’s media from an audience perspective (English, 2018)

This publication presents the findings from an audience study carried out by International Media Support (IMS), its partner institution Fojo Media Institute and Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation (EMRef) in May 2018. The report provides indications of the media habits of the population of Myanmar as well as people’s understanding of news and information flows.

Gender monitoring in the Myanmar news media (English, 2017)

The Gender in the Myanmar Media Landscape report was undertaken to inform the Myanmar Journalism Institute (MJI) as well as the media industry at large on the current status of gender equity in Myanmar and shed light on the relative position of the women in media and their role and representation in networks and other professional bodies.

Strengthening Somali media (English, 2015)

This briefing paper seeks to understand the existing gender situation in the Somali media and make recommendations to Fojo Media Institute and International Media Support on how to develop their ‘Strengthening Somali Media” program in a gender-sensitive manner.

The baseline study on the working conditions of Somali women journalists

The Baseline Study on the Working Conditions of Somali Women Journalists was conducted during September and October 2016, with the aim of improving understanding of the conditions for female journalists in Somalia via substantive, actionable datasets. The study was initiated by the Somali Women Journalists (SWJ) Association in collaboration with IMS-Fojo, in recognition of the absence of a single, centralised body of data on the status of women in the journalism profession.

Gender report (Russian, 2018)

Отчет содержит результаты исследования гендерных аспектов занятости, карьеры и профессиональной самореализации в медиаиндустрии двух стран – Грузии и Молдовы, а также сравнительный анализ полученных данных с ситуацией в российских СМИ. Импульсом к проведению настоящего исследования послужила реализация в 2016 году проекта “Российская медиасреда: гендерные аспекты занятости и карьеры”, в котором указанные вопросы подробно изучались применительно к российской медиаотрасли.

Gender report (Russian, 2020)

Этот отчет – результат четырехлетней работы исследователей в шести странах Восточной Европы. С 2016 года Fojo Media Institute вместе с местными партнерами исследует медиаландшафт в Восточной Европе с гендерной точки зрения, чтобы выяснить, как женщины и мужчины в отрасли воспринимают свою трудовую жизнь. Какие у них есть варианты влияния и успешной карьеры? Каковы различия в тематике публикаций и удовлетворенности работой у мужчин и женщин-журналистов? Является ли сексуальное домогательство проблемой, которая влияет на профессиональную практику?

Gender report (Russian, 2017)

В материалах на основе результатов исследования, проведенного сотрудниками ИСЭПН РАН осенью 2016 года, представлена информация о системных изменениях в сфере масс-медиа; о тенденциях и причинах феминизации ме­диаиндустрии; о гендерных особенностях оплаты труда и карьерного роста в данной отрасли; о влиянии гендерных факторов на выбор тематики, а также иная актуальная информация, касающаяся условий труда и возможностей про­фессиональной самореализации работников и руководителей СМИ. Анализ построен на данных статистики, а также двух социологических исследований: массового анкетного опроса работников СМИ и углубленных интервью с экс­пертами в области масс-медиа.

Baseline study on gender in the Ethiopian media landscape (English, 2021)

Fojo Media Institute and International Media Support (IMS) are implementing the programme “Media Reform in a Time of Change – Promoting Journalism and Democracy” in Ethiopia (2020-2023). The objective of the programme is to enable men and women in Ethiopia to have access to independent and balanced public interest journalism, enabling democratic peaceful citizen engagement and accountable governance. Promoting women’s representation in newsrooms, the fair and balanced portrayal of women and men in media content and promoting media access to women are critical to realizing these objectives. The purpose of this study, which was conducted in 2020, was to generate key baseline information and recommends relevant interventions for Fojo-IMS to inform the programme’s actions towards advancing gender equality in the media using the opportune time of the media reform process.

Special report focusing on online hate against women journalists (English)

This report provides background material to the UN Secretary General’s Report on Safety of Journalists and Impunity. It summarizes experiences from actors within the Swedish media sector specifically related to on-line hate and threats against women journalists in Sweden. It also provides summaries of Fojo Media Institute’s activities related to on-line hate and threats against women journalists as well as gender equality in Sweden, globally, Somalia, Russia and Belarus, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and the MENA-region.

Cambodia gender report (English, 2018)

The Gender-in-Media Landscape Study aims to inform the activities of the South East Asia Media Training Network by exploring gender equity in the media workplace. Towards this end, data were gathered through a broad survey and multiple focus group discussions in both countries. The findings are naturally affected by the overarching conditions in which the media operates, and by the broad gender dynamics of Cambodia. Findings show a male-dominated profession, but where women have increasingly joined the industry. It explores the pressures faced by female journalists on security and the lack of workplace policies in support of gender-related needs.

Vietnam gender report (English, 2018)

The Gender-in-Media Landscape Study aims to inform the activities of the Southeast Asia Media Training Network by exploring gender equity in the media workplace. Towards this end, data was gathered through a broad survey and multiple focus group discussions. The report outlines findings to the situation of women in media: their representation, and the structural and systematic barriers to progression. It explores experiences of sexual harassment and the lacking management responses to deal with that and other workplace issues.

Barriers to women journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa (English, 2021)

The study identifies obstacles hindering women from entering and progressing within Rwanda’s journalism industry. The findings of this report identify the strategies and interventions that will promote gender equality for women journalists in Rwanda, at various career levels. The study aims to provide a review and summary of existing research on gender and media in Rwanda, including identified gaps in research, data analysis, and recommendations to inform the development of the Fojo/SR MDO proposal for phase 2 in Rwanda. It was commissioned by Fojo and has been conducted by African Women in Media (AWiM).

Myanmar gender report (English, 2017)

This report has been carried out by Myanmar Womens Journalist Society (MWJS) and International Media Support & Fojo Institute in Myanmar. The study was the first in its kind and intended to be replicated and repeated each year, as a way of tracking media’s progress on this issue. This landmark study sheds light on the imbalance of female and male voices in Myanmar news, covering the diversity of the current media landscape across different mediums, types of ownership, geographic regions, languages, frequencies of publication, and political affiliations. The objective is to see Myanmar participate in the next ‘Global Media Monitoring Project’ (GMMP) in 2020, which is a worldwide media monitoring, research and advocacy project implemented collaboratively with women’s rights organizations and researchers across the world. The results of the study aim to fill a gap in the media development process in Myanmar, and assist with building capacity among media professionals and institutions to promote gender equality in and through the media

ECER gender report (English, 2018)

Journalism is facing multiple challenges in our time. The transformation of the advertising market with social media tech giants taking over the scene, is probably the single most important factor challenging the continued production of quality journalism. On the other hand, the new media climate has spurred renewed commitments to the core principles of journalism: relevance, accuracy and impartiality. There is a distinct call for journalism to be fair and representative, in content and industry. This comparative study, takes a closer look at gender aspects of working conditions in the media in four countries, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Belarus, with the aim of informing the discussion on how gender is related to the development of the industry and journalism itself.

Gender in the Belarusian media landscape (English, 2016)

The report on “Gender in the Belarusian Media Landscape” was undertaken to inform actors in the local media industry of the current status on gender equality in Belarus media and to shed light on the relative position of women in the industry. Belittling stereotypes that hinder advancement, problems to combine work and family life, gender biased distribution of beats and a general feminization of the industry, (with declining wages and significant male drop out), are some of the challenges facing female journalists in Belarus who want to make themselves a career in the media industry. Unique research conducted by Fojo and its partners in Belarus show how gender bias is built into the power structures of media organisations and how women are the ones losing out.

Journodefender (English, 2018)

This report is an edited version of a Fojo Media Institute pilot study, in association with the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. It describes and analyses how online propaganda against journalists across the world – through hate, harassment, threats and fabricated news – undermines independent reporting, sows doubt among the public and makes journalists, in particular female journalists, open for online attacks and physical abuse to the detriment of freedom of expression and open, democratic societies. To combat this trend, Fojo plans to set up #journodefender, a global hub to monitor, investigate and take action against the-ends- justifies-the-means trolling with particular focus on assisting journalism in countries that are particularly badly affected.

Sexual Harassment Handbook (viet, 2018)

Phụ nữ trong báo chí (WIN) là Chương trình chiến lược về giới và tự do báo chí của Hiệp hội báo chí và các nhà xuất bản tin tức thế giới (WAN-IFRA). WIN hướng đến việc gia tăng quyền lãnh đạo và tiếng nói của phụ nữ thông qua việc trang bị cho các phóng viên, biên tập viên nữ các kỹ năng, chiến lược và mạng lưới hỗ trợ để họ có thể đảm nhận các vị trí lãnh đạo cao hơn trong lĩnh vực báo chí.

EBU gender equality guidelines

This report reflects a shared ambition to lead the way in achieving gender equality in the media workplace

GAMAG setting the agenda for communication policy

The Position Papers that now see the light of day show us how to tackle the gaps between fine-sounding policies and actual practices, between words and implementation

IAWART gender handbook (2019)

The handbook on Working Towards Gender Equality in the Media showcases IAWRT members’ experiences and best practices of working towards advancing gender equality and women’s positions in and through the media

Beijing Platform for action

This landmark text was the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995.


Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979 entry into force 3 September 1981, in accordance with article 27(1)

Iren Khan report UN special rapporteur on HR copy

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, notes that, despite the impressive gains made by women, gender equality in freedom of expression remains a distant goal

EU gender action plan

Drawing from the EU gender equality strategy 2020 – 2025, which calls for a gender-equal Europe, this new EU gender action plan for 2021–2025 (GAP III) calls for a gender-equal world and is complementary to the LGBTIQ equality strategy for 2020-2025

Maputo protocol (2003)


Sidas strategi för global jämställdhet 2018 -2022

Svenskt utvecklingssamarbete inom ramen för denna strategi ska bidra till global jämställdhet och alla kvinnors och flickors fulla åtnjutande av de mänskliga rättigheterna.

The New York Declaration 2017 (WACC)

Progress towards closing the gender gap in news media content has almost come to a standstill, according to the 2015 Global Media Monitoring Project research

The Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy

This handbook should be a resource for international work relating to gender equality and all women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights.

UNESCO Gender sensitive indicatiors

The aim of the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media is to contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through media of all forms, irrespective of the technology used

UNSCR 1325

Resolution 1325 (2000) adopted by the Security Council at its 4213th meeting, on 31 October 2000

Managing diversity WAN-IFRA handbook

This handbook has been produced by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) to help media managers successfully manage diverse teams, with a focus on gender diversity

WACC gender and media an holistic agenda

This Learning Resource Kit for Gender-Ethical Journalism and Media House Policy is the result of collaboration between the World Association of Christian Communication (WACC) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to redress gender disparities in news media content.

WAN-IFRA’s handbook on managing diversity

This handbook has been produced by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) to help media managers successfully manage diverse teams, with a focus on gender diversity