Chapter 12. The ball is in the women’s court

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Finnish women have held all the highest positions in politics, and yet their media presence has repeatedly been portrayed as weaker than men’s. This article examines how newspapers ascribe gender to political leaders and what questions this opens in political communication research. In addition to a quantitative analysis, data from the most widely read Finnish newspapers, daily broadsheets and six-day-a-week tabloids, are interpreted and complemented with a qualitative content analysis of the Social Democratic Party of Finland’s first female party leader. This article demonstrates that female and male politicians are not given equal media representation. Moreover, the media evaluates the personalities and actions of political leaders from distinctively gendered perspectives.


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