Male experts outnumber their female counterparts on Ghanaian media platforms by a ratio of 9:1, a new study by the Ghana Women Experts Project has found. The report, which is part of the second round of the Project’s survey, also showed that male experts were given more time than the women experts who appeared on the media programmes.
Conducted between February and May 2023, the survey tracked the number of women interviewed as experts on a wide range of topics on four major radio programmes: Citi Breakfast Show, JOy SMS and Kokrokoo on Peace FM. The findings suggest that only 113 out of the 936 experts interviewed during the period were women, representing just 12% of the total sample. This is a decline from the first round of the survey, which was conducted between February and June 2021.
While the number of female experts declined, the amount of time allocated to them was equally unimpressive. They received less airtime even if their expertise was used on the shows. For instance, the 113 female experts collectively shared only 116 minutes and 4 seconds per week on all shows combined compared to their male counterparts. This implies that a single female expert was given a little over a minute within a week on the selected shows that typically lasted at least three hours.
The study also revealed that women experts were predominantly interviewed regarding topics related to gender issues, as opposed to other subjects. However, in the previous project in 2021, women experts were limited to topics beyond gender including human rights, insurance, banking and finance. Issues considered ‘serious’ such as politics, policy and some aspects of the economy were reserved for male experts.
On specific programmes, Joy FM seemed to have given women experts more time although Morning Starr allocated the most airtime to female experts.
The 2021 census data indicates that females make up more than 50% of Ghana’s population yet their participation in different sectors of the country’s development including the media and politics is undervalued. Despite women being missing in top management positions in Ghanaian media, producers have also cited in different reports other reasons for this gender gap such as the unwillingness of women experts to participate in programmes.
See the full report here.