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Male Experts Given More Prominence, Airtime Than Female Experts in Ghana – New Report Says

Out of 12 experts from different fields who are engaged on popular radio and television programmes every week in Ghana, only one of them is likely to be a woman, a new study by the Ghana Women Experts has found.

The project which was done between February and June 2021 revealed that popular radio and television programs were dominated by men with a statistic of 11:1 against women. The survey found that male politicians, lawyers, doctors, university teachers, and other men who called themselves experts and analysts dominated these radio and television programmes.

Out of the 1,476 experts featured on the six monitored radio and television shows, only 128 of them were female experts, representing just 8.7 per cent of the total number of experts interviewed on all the programmes. While men dominated all the four Breakfast shows monitored, Starr FM’s Morning Starr interviewed more women experts than the rest.

The survey which was conducted under the direction of Nana Ama Agyemang Asante and Betty Kankam-Boadu, both freelance journalists in Accra with support and funding from the City University of London’s Journalism Department, is a first in this area of media monitoring in Ghana.

The six programs surveyed included Peace FM’s Kookroko, Citi FM’s, Citi Breakfast Show, Starr FM’s Morning Starr, TV3’s Key Points, Joy TV’s PM Express and Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.

“The study shows that despite being more than half of the population, 51.2 percent to be exact, Ghanaian women’s voices and expertise remain unacknowledged in the media,” Nana Ama Agyemang Asante said.

But as has been the argument, media managers and producers put the blame on women experts.

“Producers argue that the disparity is due to a reluctance on the part of women to appear on shows, but the figures also show that male experts were given more time during interviews than women. It is evident from the data that policies, laws and other national programs are being framed by men for men. The media’s gender gap is not only unfair to women, but it also reinforces harmful and dangerous gender stereotypes,” she added.

The underrepresentation of women’s voices and issues in media is reflected across other sectors in the country. Only 30 women are in Ghana’s 275-member parliament house, while only eight of the eight-five ministers are women. Only 36 out of the 212 persons appointed across the country were women.

The numbers of women in top administrative positions are also low, with only three out of the 12 Justices of the Supreme Court being women. Men dominate leadership positions even in organizations where women are in the overwhelming majority, like the Ghana Registered Nurses Association and the Ghana Union of Traders. Yet, women account for more than half of the population, 51.2 percent to be exact.

Some Highlights from the report

1.Over the study period, findings indicated that for every twelve (12) experts engaged on the selected shows every week, only one (1) of them was a woman.

2. Out of the 1,476 experts interviewed on selected programs, only 128 were women, representing just 8.7 percent.

3. Male experts were given 149hrs 42mins 28secs while their female counterparts were given 20hrs 17mins 4secs.

4.Morning Starr on Starr FM interviewed the highest number of women experts and the highest number of male experts.

5. Joy SMS recorded the lowest amount of time dedicated to female experts on their show.

6. Joy TV’s PM Express did not interview any female experts in five (5) weeks.

7. Male experts were interviewed on governance, politics , education, finance, energy, forex trading, sports, environmental issues, law, unemployment, legal, freedom of expression, and human rights abuse.

8. Female experts were interviewed on finance and banking, information technology, insurance, gender, human rights, and legal issues.

9. Most female experts who were interviewed were public relations officials or spokespersons of companies.

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