Media through gender lenses: A male-dominated world of the media

October 31, 2022


Podgorica, 31 October, 2022 – Women make up only one in five persons who speak to, are read about or are being spoken of in the media, and they are rarely interlocutors on topics related to politics, economy and sports. Over the past six years, the visibility of women in the media has only increased by half a per cent.

This was shown by the "Media through gender lenses" research, which analysed the representation of women in media content and identified the challenges that need to be overcome in order for the media to report in a gender-responsive manner. This research is just one of the activities that UNDP undertakes with the financial support of and a strong partnership with the European Union in order to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality through a multi-sector approach – culture, art, and the media.

In her presentation on the research findings, author Dusanka Pejovic assessed that the world seen in the media remains mostly a "male" one. "The real composition of society is not reflected, different experiences and needs are not shown, and women remain relatively invisible. There are worryingly few women's voices in politics and economics, where power and influence are greatest. Awareness of the importance of promoting gender equality is not sufficiently developed in the media. Through occasional sensationalist and unethical reporting on gender-based violence, as well as the absence of topics on gender equality, the media does not sufficiently influence systemic and structural changes in society, nor do they change the awareness of citizens", she said.

When looked at through gender lenses the media Montenegro shows the representation of women in the articles and pieces on the economy is 14,8%, which is the largest gap, with 9 percentage points behind the global average. Although the representation of women appearing in the politics section is growing, it still amounts to 18,8%, i.e. 5% more than six years ago, which is still lower than the world average. This is confirmation that women in Montenegro are the least represented in the spheres where power and influence are greatest. On the other hand, women make up more than 40% of those who speak in new related to health, education, entertainment, celebrity and art. Regarding sports news, the representation of women stands at a mere 12,4%.

Women make up about 60% of all victims mentioned in the news, and the share of women portrayed as victims in the news about domestic and gender-based violence is 94,8%.

Ministarka kulture i medija Maša Vlaović

The Minister of Culture and Media, Masa Vlaovic, pointed out that the media freedoms won and guaranteed so far, which we must continue to expand and win, create opportunities for more meaningful media reporting on cases of gender-based discrimination and the promotion of policies and strategies in the field of gender equality.

"I see the way in which gender-related issues are reported in the media, and the topics that are raised, the interlocutors and sources that journalists and journalists choose, as one of the key elements in the promotion and strengthening of social awareness of the importance of equality and the need for a determined fight to eliminate discrimination based on gender", Vlaovic said.

The Minister reminds that the Ministry of Culture and Media is finalising the draft of the Media Strategy, which, among other things, will address the issues of gender equality, the representation and visibility of women in the media industry, their role and influence on the production and distribution of media content through the analysis of the situation.


Stalna predstavnica UNDP-a Daniela Gašparikova

UNDP Resident Representative for Montenegro, Daniela Gasparikova said that gender inequality was not only a women's issue, as it threatens to slow down the progress of the entire society.

"We are aware that deeply-rooted stereotypes and beliefs dominate social structures and the minds of people in Montenegro. The fight against them must also become a key principle of the work of the media. Because the way the media report and the content they publish influence our consciousness and shape our value system. That is why the media are true agents of change. Those employed in the media are the key links in the promotion of human rights and the elimination of gender stereotypes, which negatively influence the perception of women in society, and undermine their opportunities to participate in public life fully, safely, without pressure and condemnation, just because they are women", Gasparikova said.


The research was conducted in line with the Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) methodology, which has been applied in 116 countries around the world since 1995. The research examined the content of ten Montenegrin media outlets with national coverage, the highest viewership/reading and the number of visits, during five randomly selected days. The focus was on three television stations – RTCG, TV Vijesti, Prva TV (main news broadcasts), four daily newspapers – Vijesti, Dan, Pobjeda and Dnevne novine, as well as three web portals - CDM, Vijesti and In4S.

The research was carried out in the context of the "Communicating Gender Equality" project, funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in cooperation with the Department for Gender Equality of the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights and the Ministry of Culture and Media.