By Priscilla Prasena
But a survey finds that the press pays much more attention to male personalities in articles on the general election.
PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwar is the most frequently mentioned woman in media articles on the run-up to the May 5 general election, according to a survey conducted by the Centre of Independent Journalism and the Malaysian branch of Nottingham University.
The survey, part of a media monitoring project called Watching the Watchdog, found that Nurul scored 0.66% in “value of coverage”, a figure that the surveyors said was way below the average score of male personalities.
The survey analysts found that the value of coverage of the average male political figure was nine times higher than that of the average female.
The 13-day survey covered 29 publications and identified 18,821 articles in Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil.
Among women, caretaker tourism minister Ng Yen Yen, scoring 0.56%, came in second to Nurul, who is defending her Lembah Pantai parliament seat. Third was Bersih leader S Ambiga, who scored 0.39%.
The project organisers have produced a video documentary on the survey results, featuring prominent women activists in a panel discussion.
Sisters in Islam leader Zainah Anwar said the results were a true reflection of Malaysians’ lack of concern over women issues. She noted that women made up only 10% of the candidates for the coming election, “which is really bad” but reflective of the Malaysian attitude.
Columnist Marina Mahathir lamented that GE13 was a “very male flavoured” election.
Even though women made up 50% of the electorate, she added, their role in political campaigns were often limited to preparing refreshments.
“This election shows the sheer invisibility of women and a very male style of politicking in the way issues are being discussed.”
The video is available on YouTube. – FMT