Today is International Women’s Day, hashtag #PressforProgress. To be able to press for progress, we need data. Humanitarian Advisory Group is collecting data to understand where women are at in the humanitarian sector. We have collected the data on women in humanitarian leadership, and found that women are underrepresented as leaders in the sector. This year, we wanted to understand how women are represented in humanitarian media. And today, we launch our paper ‘Women’s Voice in Humanitarian Media. No Surprises.’
We took a brief snapshot of online media covering humanitarian topics from two media outlets over a four-week period. The data indicates that women are underrepresented in humanitarian media—just 23% of officials and experts quoted were women. While this is no surprise—it reflects the underrepresentation of women in media more broadly—it is an issue that needs to be addressed.
It needs to be addressed because media shapes people’s perceptions of the roles of women, and unconscious bias impacts advancement in the workplace.
It needs to be addressed because women are underrepresented in humanitarian leadership.
While we need more data, and more understanding of the impact of the underrepresentation of women, we offer this paper to help raise awareness and to support efforts towards gender parity in the humanitarian sector.