Maintaining a gender balance in the media will complicate the work of journalists, according to 41% of media workers surveyed by the Institute of Mass Information. Another obstacle is the lack of women experts (this opinion is shared by 24% of Ukrainian journalists surveyed). Only 3% of surveyed media workers say they consider women to be less qualified than men and, therefore, do not ask them to give comments.

On average, 48% of surveyed journalists state that gender balance in the media is always important, while another 40% admit that it is important only in some cases. Only 9% of media workers oppose maintaining gender balance in the media. At the same time, journalists from Kyiv city and the region are the most supportive of gender balance (56% believe that media outlets should adhere to this principle). Gender balance turns out to be the least important for journalists from the central and eastern regions of Ukraine (39% support this idea).

In addition, 78% of journalists, who do not adhere to the balance between men and women in their materials, argue that they care about expertise, not gender. Another 7% state that they do not see a problem as the media reliably reflects the situation with balance in society. Moreover, 5% of surveyed media workers, who do not follow the balance, believe that women and men have their roles and the issue of gender is “artificially imposed on us by the West.” Interestingly, 2% of media workers believe that “hidden matriarchy” dominates in Ukraine so there is no need to follow the gender balance in the media.

Answering to a question what will motivate them adhere to the gender balance of experts and heroes in their journalistic materials, 37% of media workers admit that public support for gender policy at the state level and the example of high-ranking officials are needed. The demand / support of the media managers was the second most popular answer (23%), and the recognition of compliance with gender balance as a trend in the media community was the third (22%). At the same time, 21% of media workers say that nothing motivates them to adhere to a gender balance in their journalistic materials. Another 15% admit they lack information on gender balance to understand why it is necessary.

As for the editorial policy towards gender balance, 33% of surveyed media workers affirm that their outlets have such policies. Another 25% of respondents indicate that they wish such a policy was introduced in their outlets. On average, 14% of journalists claim that their media outlets do not need gender policy. An interesting fact is that staff of Kyiv city media oppose the introduction of gender policies the most (33%). At the same time, journalists from the southern regions are the most favourably disposed toward the introduction of gender policy in their media outlets (42%).

Natalia Tolub

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