About 200 cases of sexist language identified in campaign speech at local elections


Approximately 200 cases of sexist language in campaign speech were detected at this year’s general local elections. In 75% of the cases, the sexist language was generated by men, the Gender Equality Platform ascertained as a result of a monitoring effort.

In a news conference hosted by IPN, Inga Stegărescu, Gender Equality Platform communicator, said that they monitored 122 debates staged by 13 media channels. The monitoring results show that the women were underrepresented in the competition for the post of mayor in the eight monitored municipalities (Orhei, Chisinau, Edineț, Bălți, Ungheni, Cahul, Soroca, Comrat). There, only 20 of 100 candidates were women. Furthermore, 79% of all the participants in debates were men. The sexist language was typical more of men.

There were three attacks with emphasis on the professional incompetence of journalists or groups of journalists.

Journalist Mariana Ionel said the detailed analysis of sexist speech revealed different manifestations of this practice, including the prevailing use of the male form (67 cases), inflaming adjectives for gender stereotypes (55 cases), for example, “I will put the first question to the lady as she is the only representative of the beautiful sex”, insulting labels and threats in speech (20 cases), jokes and allusions of a sexual character (21 cases), for example, “We will forget all the incompetent and impotent politicians who used Balti” or “Give (the right of reply) to Mister Gramma as he is more excited”.

There were also identified 18 cases of use of familiar terms. For example, “A common question for both of you. You both look so pretty”.

According to Mariana Ionel, both sexist language and sexist behavior run counter to the principles of democracy. Either they are manifested in political speech in general or in the election campaign in particular, sexist language and sexist behavior discourage civic engagement, political participation and, as a result, diminishes the representation of women in the field.

Nina Lozinschi, secretary general of the Gender Equality Platform, noted that the target group of the monitoring included male and female candidates, participants in elections and female journalists involved in the covering of elections. The monitoring period was October 16 – November 19. There were monitored TV channels, online press and radio media.

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