Eerst moeder van drie, of toch vooral politicus? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286


Mother of three children, or first and foremost politician? A quantitative content analysis of the representation of female political candidates in the Flemish press

This study compares the presence and portrayal of female and male political candidates in news articles that report on newly announced candidatures during times of election. We used a quantitative content analysis to study 390 news articles about two federal (2007, 2014) and two local elections (2012, 2018) in Belgium. The articles were collected from four Flemish newspapers: De Morgen, Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Nieuwsblad and De Standaard. The findings show that male and female politicians are unequally represented. Numerically, male politicians are represented almost twice as often as woman politicians and articles about female politicians are shorter in length. For female politicians the age, marital status, and parenthood are more often mentioned, highlighting their roles in the private sphere. Notably, the coverage of local elections shows a more biased representation than the coverage of federal elections does. As such, this study underlines the importance of comparing different electoral contexts.


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