Kirsty Strickland (on Twitter as @MrsJackDaniels) has been adding up the numbers from the past few months of media observation. And guess what . . . ?
Photo from General Election 2015 Foreign Affairs Debate; THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FINE.
Get ready, #WFImediawatchers – we’ve got a treat for you. We know you love a stat. And we know you love hearing about all things gender balance in current affairs. So we have sat, hunched over pagesof notes with our trusty pencil (okay Microsoft Word with an on-screen calculator) to tell you where we’re at so far.
Every week we having been watching political programs and toting up the number of men & women invited to contribute. Some weeks have been pretty bad and we ran out of wooden spoons at one point. Others have been worthy of an Iain Duncan Smith style air-punch – awesome female professors invited on to talk about fracking, a panel of articulate women talking about WFI’s women’s prisons campaign, and a real *actual* feminist being invited on Scotland 2015 to speak about the Budget. But what’s the total overall?
For each week we monitored the ratio of men to women was roughly 3:1. In total that works out as:
As well as there being nearly three times as many men appearing as women, there were also a fair few #manels. Fifteen that we spotted, although there were no doubt more. While McCoys coined the phrase ‘man crisps’, and Yorkie famously told us that their chocolate bars were ‘not for girls’ it seems there is also a political equivalent. Discussions around foreign affairs, defence and the economy saw the lowest number of women participating overall. I’m sure that’s fine though. They’ll definitely speak up for women’s interests. I bet some of them even know a woman.
There aren’t any men around to explain this week’s numbers for us, unfortunately. So here’s some pictures to illustrate the figures instead. (37 men, 17 women)
Back to the numbers next week with a breakdown of each show and (hopefully) to give out a few gold stars. Our vigorous nod of approval this week goes to our wimmin’ at Westminster. Debut speeches out of the way for many, they are using their voices & interventions to speak up for women. Time’s a-changing on those green benches. With so many WFI members occupying the seats, did we really expect anything less?
We need volunteers, folks. If you watch a current affairs tv or radio program regularly then get in touch with Kirsty @mrsjackdaniels to get involved. Everybody else can help us out by tweeting using the hashtag #WFImediawatch and pointing out any #manels when you see them. We want to be recognising good examples of gender balance too though, so please let us know if you spot any.
That’s our catch up completed. I’m off to have a Yorkie.