Representation of women in media - outcome of Catalan regulator's assessment

posted on 14 November, 2013   (public)

Representation of women in media - outcome of Catalan regulator's assessment

The Audiovisual Council of Catalonia (CAC) published in April 2013 a detailed Report on the representation of women on television. The report is based on the analysis of different types of TV programmes: non-fiction (news, TV discussions, interviews) and fiction (feature films, series) broadcast during the first half of 2012 in four TV channels: TV3 (public regional autonomous channel), TVE Cataluña (regional window of national PSB), 8tv (private, regional) and BTV (public, local). 4 431 news units, 2 690 debates and interviews and 357 fiction characters have been examined in order to report on the image of women in television content.

The data collected in the report shows that the presence of women in media is smaller in number as compared with men; this reflects general conceptions of gender equality in Spanish society. For example 46.4% of doctors practising in Spain are women, but the percentage drops to 26.7 % when they are presented in TV programmes. In fiction programmes the presence of women and men is more balanced (44.5 % women) than in non-fiction (around 30%).

The report highlights the inequality in the representation of men and women in media, which is summarised within the following features:

  • Women are invisible and silent in media, not only do they have a less important presence than men, but sometimes they are not even given a voice,  they also have lower and less prestigious functions compared to men;
  • The image of woman in media is often reduced to her family role and her physical appearance;
  • The media may highlight a woman with a higher function (woman-politician, woman-scientist) but does not really focus on woman’s achievements and skills;
  • There is a strong dichotomy between the representation of men and women in media, the way for women to act against discrimination is often to follow “a male model”.

La representació de les dones a la televisió. Informe sobre la diversitat i la igualtat (Catalan)
Detailed article in electronic newspaper (Spanish)

Source: Audiovisual Council of Catalonia website