Bad Girls: A Critical Analysis of Media Coverage of Women in Politics

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This research examines the media’s treatment of women in politics over the past five years. Beginning with an evaluation of the predominant approaches and research conducted on media coverage of women in politics, the paper draws on appropriate methodologies to investigate how the media reported women and gender issues during the 1994 National Elections. Following this the research analyses the media’s treatment of women in politics, the problems they face and the media coverage they receive. The case of Dr Zuma, the current Minister of Health is studied and the results of this contextualised within the patriarchal discourses prominent in our society. Drawing on the views of journalists and some politicians the research proposes certain goals and actions that should be taken, in order to transform media coverage of women in politics.

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