Dr Heather Savigny in Parliament to present research on women MPs in the media

Heather S HoC

A BU academic was in Parliament to share her research findings on media coverage of women politicians.

Senior Lecturer in Politics Dr Heather Savigny spoke at the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sex Equality, presenting findings of her co-authored research into press coverage of female politicians over the last 20 years.

The research – hailed as “important” work by Mary Mcleod MP during the session – found that women politicians in 2012 were receiving less coverage in proportion to their relative numbers in Parliament than in 2002 and 1992.

It also demonstrated that Conservative and Labour women were receiving proportionally more negative coverage than their male counterparts by 2012, while female Liberal Democrats were generally ignored.

Dr Savigny and co-author Deirdre O’Neill from Leeds Trinity University recommended that a media monitoring group be set up – comprising politicians, media representatives and academics.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group session was organised by the Fawcett Society.

Chair of the Group Diane Abbott MP welcomed the research and other presentations during the session, and pointed out that party press offices needed to do more to promote female politicians – and a wider range of women  –  in the media.

Co-chair Bernard Jenkins MP called on his male colleagues to participate in this debate, rather than dismissing it as a “women’s” issue.

They agreed to meet to discuss taking the issue further forward.